The Reader Volunteer Opportunity

close up of a person reading a book

The Reader are looking for volunteers in Wigan to help us run our Shared Reading groups with people suffering from, or at risk of, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. These groups take place in care homes, charities and other settings, and are all about supporting older people’s wellbeing through reading.

As a Reader Leader volunteer, you would lead the group in reading aloud from short stories and poems, and chatting about what the text reminds them of or makes them think about. The Reader provides lots of literature to use, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to generate loads of interesting conversations. If you want to help older people enjoy literature and connect with one and other in a group, we want to hear from you.  

How does Shared Reading work?

A group of people, one of them a trained Reader Leader, reads a great novel, short story or poem aloud. We stop and talk about what we have read. There is no need for group members to read aloud or speak – it’s fine to just listen. The idea is to create a space where people feel at ease.

Reading the literature aloud in real-time, means that everyone is involved in a shared, live experience. Group members are encouraged by the Reader Leader to respond personally, sharing feelings, thoughts and memories provoked by the reading. Everyone experiences the text in their own way, but the literature provides a shared language that can help us to understand ourselves – and others – better. No other organisation makes use of literature in this way. Shared Reading helps us to understand our individual and collective inner lives, round the same table, at the same time.

Why volunteer?

By volunteering with The Reader, you can make a difference in your local community, meet new people and learn new skills valuable to career in health and social care! All volunteers take part in a transformational Shared Reading training programme, and can access an amazing range of literature resources.

As well as getting to be involved and support a local organisation such as a care home, you’ll also be part of The Reader’s family, being one of the first to hear about our different events happening online and in person around great literature.  

What to do if you’re interested

Contact Rab Ferguson on [email protected] and ask about volunteering in Wigan to find out more. Rab’s happy to arrange a chat on the phone, set up a video call, or to answer questions directly through email. Please do get in touch – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Rab Ferguson

Partnership Lead and Criminal Justice Team

Currently reading The Marks Left on Her  byDi Lebowitz  
Looking for an online Shared Reading group? Visit The Reading Room to read with us wherever you are

T: 07375390238 | E: [email protected]

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Mansion House  |  Calderstones Park  |   Liverpool  |  L18 3JB