The Reader Organisation

Volunteer With The Reader

The Reader is a national charity which is working to bring the human benefits of sharing literature to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. They bring people together in small groups, to read good quality literature aloud and stop every so often to talk about what they have read. They would define 'good quality literature' as writing which captures and gives language to some of the deepest areas of human experience, in its joys, challenges and complexities. Trained Reader Leaders take responsibility for all reading aloud, in case group members do not have reading skills themselves, or simply wish to sit back and listen that day. The Shared Reading model is based around an ethos of acceptance and kindness, meaning that no one is ever put on the spot, or expected to contribute. They are not an educational programme or literacy support, but rather celebrate the personal responses of the people we read with and the connections made during sessions they run. They work in nurseries, schools, mental health inpatient wards, prisons, community centres and care homes, to name a few settings. In a piece recent of research carried out by their partners at the University of Liverpool, one group member had this to say about their experience of Shared Reading:

  "I’m not really a book person. I’m the person who’d probably go to the end or just get distracted or give up, or it’s boring, you know, I don’t take the time to sort of get involved. But now I think: really is this what books can do? I go into it. It is really bringing me alive. It is making me awaken..." -Group-member

They are currently working in partnership with Torus Housing to help bring Shared Reading to older people living in sheltered accommodation schemes across St. Helens in order to reduce social isolation and improve general wellbeing. In order to expand their reach they are offering excellent training and volunteer opportunities to anyone who wants to get involved. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in -please do get in touch for a friendly chat

Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF



Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.