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Reading Friends

Do you enjoy reading and chatting about books, magazines, or sharing stories and memories? Could you help connect people by starting conversations inspired by reading?
Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends and have fun.
We use reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start everyone chatting.
You don’t have to be an expert in literature to take part. All that’s needed is a love of reading and a desire to help people feel more connected in their community.
Interested in joining our volunteer team or would like some more information – complete the form link on the right or here.

Why Reading Friends matters

  • Loneliness and social isolation is a significant health and wellbeing issue for older people. 8-10% of people aged 65 and older are often or always lonely, while 12% feel socially isolated
  • Research shows that reading together can help older people to build social networks and connect with others. Evidence also shows that reading has a positive impact on empathy, cognitive function and wellbeing and can reduce the risk of dementia
  • Age UK's research shows that maintaining meaningful engagement with the world around you is key to wellbeing. Taking part in activities that support wellbeing is most difficult for people who are lonely and isolated or in poor health
  • It also finds that creative and cultural participation makes the highest contribution to an older person's wellbeing

 Reading Friends meet regularly to chat and share stories in groups or one-to-one sessions. Reading Friends aims to empower, engage and connect people who are vulnerable, isolated and at risk of loneliness. 
You will receive training and support to run sessions both at Idea Stores and in community settings such as Care of the Elderly wards and residential homes.