Reading Friends is pleased to announce that we entered an exciting new phase in May, with the start of our roll out to libraries.

Libraries roll-out

The initial roll out phase will see libraries across London and the East Midlands join the programme to test out a subscription model for a reduced fee. As with our other projects, participating libraries will contribute to the development of resources and our evaluation. This process will help prepare for the expanded roll out in the autumn. As part of the new libraries model, 17 local authorities across London and the East Midlands have joined existing Reading Friends projects.

We’re coming to more places near you

June has also been an exciting month, and Reading Friends is now expanding into all ten authorities in Greater Manchester.

In West Sussex, Reading Friends is now reaching two new outreach groups through our work with Age UK Horsham, and Billinghurst through our partnership with West Sussex Libraries.

What else have we been up to?

Reading Friends has started working in several new locations in the last few months. In Islington, we will be running weekly evening sessions in May and June to celebrate the area’s local LGBTQ+ history.

We are also launching a new partnership with Re-engage with projects starting in Scotland and South West England. The organisation has an extensive network of volunteer drivers who take their older guests to a volunteer host’s home. There they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship. Our work with Re-engage is an exciting fusion between their existing model and Reading Friends. We will also develop new Reading Friends groups in people’s homes and other locations, providing transport to help reach the most isolated.

Get involved

We’re always looking for volunteers and participants to take part in Reading Friends. Register your interest here.

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