The Reading Agency’s Reading Friends programme has been using reading to tackle loneliness in Scotland since 2017. The Scottish Book Trust helped establish the programme by providing strategic insights to ensure that Reading Friends suited the Scottish context. They have also managed the delivery of pilot projects with Stirling Libraries and Artlink Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Now Reading Friends is established in Scotland, Scottish Book Trust and The Reading Agency feel that the time is right for their coordination role to come to an end. This means that Scottish Book Trust will step back from the programme when the pilot phase concludes in September 2019.
In future, The Reading Agency will work directly with projects in Scotland. We have appointed a new Programme Manager, Natalie Turnbull, who will be based in Scotland.
“All of us at Scottish Book Trust have greatly valued being involved in the test and pilot phases of the programme,” said Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reading Communities. “We look forward to seeing how the findings from pilots across the UK inform the success of Reading Friends as it moves into its wider roll out stage.”
“We want to thank Scottish Book Trust for all their support with Reading Friends,” said Alison Blaxland, Senior Programme Manager. “They have helped to develop and shape the programme in Scotland, and we have all enjoyed working with them. We are excited about the next phase and building on the great work they have started.”