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Reading Friends

Bringing people together online

Written by Aura Libraries, Flintshire

Aura Libraries in Flintshire told us the story of how Reading Friends helped Miss A overcome her fear of technology and create new friendships.

Miss A is retired and lives on her own. She’s passionate about reading and enjoys sharing what she has read and hearing about what others like, which is why Reading Friends appealed to her so much.

What does she enjoy about Reading Friends?

It’s a relaxed social activity aimed at improving wellbeing with books and stories at its heart rather than ‘getting very serious about all reading the same title’. She never knows which way the conversation will turn! She enjoys the sessions where we share poetry because of the way it can make you feel. She had been missing the regular contact and emotional lift of the Reading Friends groups and took the opportunity to join the new Zoom Reading Friends despite her aversion to going online. I was able to support her step-by-step to access the group and she has attended every monthly session since we started.

What difference did it make?

It’s given her the confidence to try new authors and request books through our ‘Select and Collect’ service. She also says she believes it has reinvigorated her reading habits after the dark months of the first lockdown. As the months have gone on, she has shared more about herself and feels a sense of achievement by being able to access the group.

Reading Friends across generations and locations

She has found common ground within the group with a young mum who she would probably never have met as they live in different areas in Flintshire. The cross generational friendship is an added bonus and seeing people who are nearly 40 years apart in age becoming friends is wonderful. Now she has mastered the technology, one of the joys of the group for her is meeting regardless of location and she looks forward to the conversations.

Please contact susannah.hill@aura.wales to find out more about Reading Friends in Flintshire.

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