In her piece a few weeks ago, Get Into Reading project worker Mary Weston introduced the Mersey Care Reads project, a joint venture between The Reader and Mersey Care NHS Trust, which aims to set up reading groups in trust sites across the district. She spoke of the fantastic support we have received from the trust in getting the project off the ground.
One month later we have six groups up and running across the services with another three due to be set up before Christmas. One of these groups is based at Mossley Hill Hospital, working with older people’s services. So far we have had three sessions together and have read poetry by Wordsworth and Pam Ayres alongside short stories by Helen Dunmore and Ernest Buckler. Last week we read Chapter 6 of Little Women, the classic tale of four sisters growning up during the American Civil War. In this section, Beth, the quiet, modest sister, is invited to play the grand piano at the house of their rich neighbour Mr Lawrence. Having been educated at home, due to her chronic shyness, this is an almost impossible prospect for Beth, whose love of music battles with her timidity in this chapter. The thing we liked most was the way the characters of Beth and Mr Lawrence each brought out a different side of each other through the chapter. One group member commented
‘Reading this has made me wish I took more notice when I read it years ago. I didn’t take things in then, but now I notice the details. It is so wonderfully written. It really is beautiful’
We have decided to continue looking at this novel in the coming weeks, looking at the characters of the other sisters.
The support from Mersey Care staff has continued to enable the project to get off to a fantastic start and the Mossley Hill group has benefitted from the hard work of two excellent Occupational Therapists who are part of the team being trained to facilitate reading groups themselves so that the project will leave a lasting legacy of reading groups throughout the trust in years to come.
Posted by Katie Peters