On Tuesday 7th September we had the pleasure of welcoming author Jeanette Winterson into our Liverpool office, who came to complete some background research for an article that appeared in The Times last Saturday (2nd October) – we’d link to it, only you have to be a subscriber to view (if you are though, click here). Jeanette spent the day visiting various Get Into Reading groups, as well as meeting some GIR members, and was inspired and moved by what she saw:
Our first stop was Redholme, a care home specialising in dementia. This wrecks the attention span, so poetry is better than a story. What happened was remarkable. For the first 20 minutes or so the residents were distracted and not really engaged. Then, quite spontaneously, they all started to talk – either about memories that had been prompted by the poem, or disagreements over what the poem was saying. One woman read it herself out loud, beautifully. In every case their minds focused and they came alive.
As well as Redholme Memory Care home, another place Jeanette visited was Parklands High School in Speke where Patrick reads with a number of the students on a weekly basis:
I went in to see a group of pupils, none of whom had been keen on reading, all of whom were now reading at home every day.
Jeanette also spoke about TRO’s impact within the Liverpool community, from Jane Davis’s first reading group set up in 2001, to the recent publication of A Little, Aloud:
I guarantee that you will get pleasure from it, especially reading aloud to others.
Jeanette seemed to wholeheartedly believe in what TRO is trying to achieve, and to support the way that we are transforming lives ‘from prisons to schools’. As she stated on the last line of her article:
The reading revolution is real.
It was a fantastic article, and we hope that you were able to see it!