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.
Launched by The Reading Agency in 2017 with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Reading Friends tackles loneliness using reading to start conversations and connect people socially.
The Reading Agency was chosen as one of the charities for The Times Christmas Appeal 2019, focusing on our work on loneliness and reading. It highlighted the Reading Friends programme. Read more about the Appeal here.
Reading Friends has been co-created with older people and tested with local project partners. We use the power of a shared story in groups and one-to-ones across libraries, prisons, care homes, community centres, and recovery cafes.
We work with volunteers of all ages to build social connections, using reading to spark conversations. Together, we reach some of the most vulnerable members of our society: older people, people with dementia and carers.