Volunteer Margaret, who is 87, runs a regular Reading Friends session at Westerlands Care Home in Stirling. With a background in libraries as well as working for the publisher Blackwells and running a bookshop in Bridge of Allan, Margaret’s love of reading made her the ideal candidate to support the group.

‘I got a call from Morag at Stirling Libraries asking if I’d like to volunteer. I run the group with Megan, a young volunteer who is really growing in confidence. I think the mix of old and young is good for us all and works really well.’

Reading Friends is good for us all

‘Some of our Reading Friends have dementia, and the real benefit of the group is that they enjoy their time while we’re here. They may forget afterwards but they might have an hour of pleasure. And I feel really happy when they remember me and Megan.’

‘We never know where the discussions will go. I often read books, short stories and poetry by Scottish writers, like Neil Munro’s Para Handy or Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie. It’s surprising what you can find out. One of our regular participants, Audrey, has written a book herself – we only found out when we were chatting about where we were all from originally and she told us she had been born in Singapore. Then one of the carers, Adrienne, showed us the book Audrey had written – we had no idea.’

‘I think Reading Friends is good for all of us – Megan and I gain a lot from the discussions too, and it’s lovely to see her getting more involved, planning and running activities for the group.’

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Reading Friends in Stirling has been going strong since we started in 2016. Find out more about our work in Scotland.

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