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The Reader

Shared Reading for good mental health and wellbeing – how books build resilience and improve quality of life

What we do

Shared Reading takes place in small groups with people of all ages and backgrounds across a variety of settings – from the workplace and schools to prisons, care homes and mental healthwards. A great story or poem is read aloud and discussed. There is no need for group members to read aloud, speak or even stay awake – the idea is to create a place where people feel at home.

The organisation is based in and around Liverpool but is active in different parts of the country. Its approach aligns with the Healthy Lives, Healthy People strategy for public health, the Five Ways to Wellbeing and the 2011 cross government strategy, No Health Without Mental Health.

Angela from Liverpool has bipolar affected disorder and experienced a full nervous breakdown three years ago. She joined a group at The Reader and started volunteering on reception a year later. As a result of building her confidence and experience, she is about to begin a paid job. Angela says: “I saw my consultant for the first time in six months the other day and I don’t think he could believe the change in me.”

If I was putting percentages on my progress over the last year I would say 30 per cent natural improvement and pills and 70 per cent down to coming here.

Angela, participant

Special offers

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    Creative Communications Training with Magpie Dance - Save 10%
    Creative tools for improving communications with people with learning disabilities

    Creative tools for improving communications with people with learning disabilities

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  • International arts and health textbook – 30% discount
    International arts and health textbook – 30% discount
    This new book shows the arts improving health in contrasting societies around the world.

    This new book shows the arts improving health in contrasting societies around the world.

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  • “Finding Your Compass” resource pack – £12 reduced to £8 (33% discount)
    “Finding Your Compass” resource pack – £12 reduced to £8 (33% discount)

    A resource pack for the Finding Your Compass arts-based mental health programme.

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