The Merseyside Reader Volunteer Scheme – Highly Commended

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From Anna McCracken, Volunteer Manager

The Reader Organisation is delighted to announce that our Merseyside Reader Volunteer Scheme has been ‘Highly Commended’ by the North West Together We Can Empowerment Awards 2012. The volunteer project was shortlisted for the ‘Encouraging Health and Well Being’ award – making the top 4 in a very competitive category, which had 45 nominations.

Volunteers in the project, which is funded by the Big Lottery, provide weekly reading sessions for older people in care homes and their own homes. Other volunteers help administer the project by, amongst other things, providing a bank of large print poems.

The category judges particularly commended the project for its impact on the older people who now enjoy Get Into Reading sessions through their volunteer readers. The impact of Get Into Reading on health and well being – especially amongst older people – is well worth celebrating. One staff member at a volunteer led care home group recently commented about a resident:

‘M can be in an exceptionally low mood, but the poetry session never fails to lift this. M often says ‘I can’t remember’ but this changes in the group. She can recite poetry and rhymes from childhood … The applause and encouragement make her feel good about herself’.

This award is a credit to our volunteers, who put many hours into the preparation and delivery of their reading sessions. It is fantastic that they have been recognised in this way. We were pleased that one of our volunteers, Andrew Livingstone, was able to attend the award ceremony at Manchester Metropolitan University last week to accept the certificate on behalf of the organisation.

If you would like any more information about the Volunteer Reader Scheme, please email Anna McCracken on annamccracken@thereader.org.uk or visit our website.

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