Skip to content
Learn more

Reading Friends

What we do

Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends and have fun. We use reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start everyone chatting.

Our mission at The Reading Agency is to tackle life's big challenges, such as loneliness and isolation, through the proven power of reading. 

Reading Friends connects people by starting conversations through reading, developed in 2017 with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

We take a person-centred approach building on interests and hobbies to get everyone talking. We use the power of shared stories to spark conversations in groups and one-to-ones, working together with local community organisations and volunteers of all ages to build social connections. Together, we are reaching people who are vulnerable, isolated and at risk of loneliness, especially those most affected by the pandemic.

Reading Friends was co-created with older people and has been tested with local project partners. We work in partnership with Literature Wales and Verbal in Northern Ireland to deliver Reading Friends across the UK.

The Reading Agency was chosen as one of the charities for The Times Christmas Appeal 2019, focusing on our work on loneliness and reading,  highlighting stories from across the Reading Friends programme.

Reading Friends expanded in 2021 through public libraries in England with funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Find out more about the difference the programme has made through stories from our projects and through our evaluation reports.

Join our mailing list and follow us on Twitter.

News Read all

Your kindness can help us bring more people together like Terry, Karuna and Jean

Support Reading Friends

Reading Friends is part of the national charity, The Reading Agency. Check out some of our other programs:

Find out more!

Join our mailing list to find out more about Reading Friends.

View our other programmes

Close

Let's keep in touch

Be the first to hear all the new and exciting things about Reading Friends.

* indicates required

Sign up to our newsletters

Please select the ways you would like to hear from The Reading Agency.

You can unsubscribe or update your preferences from The Reading Agency at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Close

Register your interest

* indicates required

I’m interested in...