From Penny Markell, Project Manager for Get Into Reading London
At The Reading Cure event in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London yesterday more than 70 people from health and mental health services, libraries,homelessness organisations and publishing companies, as well as interested writers, journalists, counsellors and an architect joined us to hear about the power of reading groups, and eat cup cakes.
Jane Davis (Director, TRO) read ‘Crossing The Bar’ by Tennyson, showed photos demonstrating the huge range of people coming to reading groups, and shared some experiences of the impact of reading on children, vulnerable adults and firefighters; Lindsey Dyer (Director, Service Users and Carers, Mersey Care NHS Trust) talked about the learning and understanding she’s gained from books (particularly Laurie Lee) and why she commissioned Get Into Reading at Mersey Care; Dr David Fearnley (Medical Director, Mersey Care NHS Trust) told us about his group in a secure psychiatric unit at Mersey Care and their enjoyment of stories by Anton Chekov, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie. Andrew McCulloch (Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation) worked hard to keep the speakers to time, allowing the audience to get involved and ask questions, and at the end lots of people stayed around to ask more questions, share their enthusiasm and desire to get reading groups happening in their organisation. Get Into Reading London has truly arrived!