Read our Guiding Principles to find out what makes us different! We aren’t a traditional reading group and people taking part in Reading Friends don’t need to be ‘readers’ as reading is used as a conversation starter, to create connections and to help people get to know each other.
Why it’s needed?
Our evaluations have found that Reading Friends creates meaningful connections, builds positive relationships and a sense of community1, all of which are needed at the moment. Even before the pandemic, loneliness and social isolation were big issues2, but Covid-19 has amplified this3. Take a look in more detail at some of the research from 2020.
The difference you make
Volunteers have a huge impact on the individuals they’ve spoken with and groups they’ve lead. Participants have recently said,
“I’ve got to admit, Reading Friends has kept me busy and it’s kept me occupied in the flat and it’s kept me going, shall we say. It’s given me a boost rather than feeling completely isolated and locked up on my own.”
“It certainly gave me a sense of connection with other people. I’m lucky I’m living with my husband but quite a few of people in the group are on their own.”
But volunteering also has an impact on volunteers too, with recent comments including a sense of purpose, satisfaction in helping others and a development of skills:
“Time is something I have a lot of and I like to keep busy. Satisfaction and just a feel-good that you’ve done something for your community.”
“It’s also given me something interesting to do. It’s made me think a bit, so it’s given me a sense of self-worth I suppose.”
“I learnt about managing a conversation when you can’t see the other person to know when they are going to speak or stop speaking.”