Featured Poem: Life by Charlotte Bronte

In this week’s browse through the archives we’ve unearthed a beauty by Charlotte Bronte and a lovely piece written by our former colleague Lizzie who chose Life to celebrate a colleague’s success (and half marathon-survival).

Continue reading “Featured Poem: Life by Charlotte Bronte”

Goodbye and Good Luck to our Apprentice Zoe

Saying goodbye is always bittersweet, but it’s with looking back on some wonderful achievements that we bid a fond farewell to our Reader Apprentice Zoe Jermy.

Zoe joined The Reader Organisation over two years ago with her apprenticeship being funded by money raised by our Apprenticeships: Building Opportunities for Life scheme, a programme designed especially to provide a young person from the local community with a flexible and specially tailored way into the working world. Keeping a focus on practical and creative work experience in a range of different areas, the apprenticeship role aimed to develop competencies and through experience, equip with life skills including social awareness, emotional resilience, enterprise and creativity.

Zoe was the third Apprentice employed by us and has been an incredible asset to the organisation, being a key part of our Wirral team (and helping us out on the other side of the River Mersey in Liverpool too). She’s packed an amazing amount into the last two years; here’s Zoe’s account of the time in her own words:

I am very grateful for my 2 year apprenticeship at The Reader Organisation. I met a lot of friendly people and built up a lovely relationship with Helen who supported me greatly; I’ve had lots of new experiences, and learnt loads of new skills.

I started working in Leasowe Library with Vic, working with the kids there. It was lovely as the kids got on really well with Eamee, Niall and myself. I will always be grateful to Eamee for taking me under her wing, as if it wasn’t for Eamee I don’t think I would have got through some of the things she helped me with. Thank you Eamee, you are a STAR!

I started going to a group in The Lauries Centre on a Thursday morning with Helen. Helen then left that group and I met Selina. Soon I started helping Selina out with teas & coffees and helped set up the room in the morning, I also sometimes picked a poem to go with the book we were reading. I became really confident with the chats and soon learnt a lot from Selina when she did the facilitation. Some days Selina took leave and I was confident enough to run the group on my own.

I then started working at St Ann’s Primary School with Jane, Eamee and Charlotte. This was also a lovely place to work and it was really fun to work with the boys. They loved reading The Pencil.

The next thing that I found very challenging was the two day event in Calderstones. I was really nervous and had a panic attack so I went in the kitchen to take some time out and Jane found me and asked what was wrong. I explained and she spoke to me and gave me some great support, saying ‘you can do it!’ She gave me a hug and I went out and started helping to sell books. I was so proud of myself. The second day that I was there I knew what to expect and did brilliant!

I started going to Highcroft Day Centre and the centre was really nice too. The staff were so helpful and made you feel so welcome. I then started doing Birkenhead Court which was another elderly centre. Sandra the volunteer was great with the residents and I became more confident when we both took it in turns to read a poem each and discuss it.

I went to The SEN Awards and it was lovely. I am so glad I went as I will never get another experience like it. It was a night I will never forget and it made it even better that The Reader Organisation won!

I have passed my Theory driving test and all my English, Maths and customer service with Cathy Chan from Sysco training. I also passed my Level 2 English in college.

I started going to Selina’s group on a Wednesday and loved it ever since I started; it is the one thing I have stuck to most while in my apprenticeship. Wednesdays were when I was my happiest. I have met the most amazing people from the groups to the staff in the Library.

I want to stay a HUGE thank you for everyone who has supported me and given me belief in myself as if it wasn’t for you kind people I wouldn’t be where I am today. I always thought low of myself and never thought I was going to achieve anything but you have all shown me help, support and love though my journey and I am so grateful but also so sad to be leaving. I am not very good at expressing myself even through writing but I will never forget the big and small things that people have done for me. Thank you!

All of us at The Reader Organisation would like to say a huge thanks to Zoe for all her hard work and enthusiasm. We wish her the very best for her bright future and in all that she does.

Read more about one of Zoe’s adventures during her Apprenticeship,  taking a trip to Antwerp to help us run one of our international Read to Lead courses.

2013 at The Reader Organisation: A Year in Review Part 1

Calderstones Mansion House c Dave JonesIt’s been another remarkable year for the reading revolution and certainly one to remember as we began to set up home in our latest base, Calderstones Mansion House. So much has happened in the space of 12 months it’s almost hard to believe there has been time to fit everything in, so here’s the Reader Review of the first six months of 2013. More to follow tomorrow…

January

The year got off to an incredible start as TRO was awarded preferred bidder status for Calderstones Mansion House, Coach House and Stable Yard at Calderstones Park, Liverpool. Our vision for Calderstones is a community for everyone with reading at its heart, and we’re already building up the foundations of the future International Centre for Reading and Wellbeing at Calderstones with our shared reading and community event activity.

Scans of brain activity show intense electrical activity when reading challenging literature
Scans of brain activity show intense electrical activity when reading challenging literature

The work of the Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) attracted global attention with research headed by Professor Phil Davis finding that reading serious literature ‘acts like a rocket-booster to the brain’, and Read to Lead moved further afield with its first Belgian course. Reading aloud was also signified as the latest trend in an article in the Observer, which mentioned the work of TRO.

February

There was more press coverage of shared reading, this time in The Guardian as journalist Lynsey Hanley spoke about our work alongside her own experiences of finding support in fiction.

A very regal twist took place as we brought Read to Lead to Kensington Palace. Shared reading for the Queen? It could happen one day…

March

Eamee's awardThe Flemish reading revolution continued as Jane appeared at the Mind The Book festival in Antwerp, and one of our Wirral Apprentices Eamee was shortlisted for the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards, making it through a competitive shortlist to the final three for the Wirral region. Congratulations Eamee!

Elsewhere we celebrated World Read Aloud Day doing what we do best – need we say any more?

April

G31A6964After a good old tidy and the placing of some Readerly touches – including lots of cake – we opened the doors to Calderstones Mansion House for two public open days, inviting people to Connect With Us at Calderstones. We were expecting a few hundred – an amazing 1,200 people came to the Mansion House and shared their hopes, dreams and memories with us.

Our very first Shared Reading Practitioner Day happened in Liverpool, bringing qualified shared reading practitioners from across the UK together for a day of thinking, learning and, of course, reading, and we were delighted to be part of the wonderful World Book Night celebrations both as a book giver and at the Liverpool flagship event at St George’s Hall.

May

Jane and Andy 2 72dpiShared Reading for Healthy Communities, The Reader Organisation’s fourth annual conference took place in London, for a day full of considering how shared reading can contribute to building stronger, healthier and more connected communities. We welcomed our largest number of delegates to date to The British Library for a varied range of seminars and enlightening contributions from Andy Burnham MP, Professor Louis Appleby, Alan Yates and some of our shared reading group members.

There was more exciting development news as TRO was selected as one of the thirty winners of the Big Venture Challenge 2013 and teamed up with the Verbal Arts Centre in Northern Ireland, and our Reading in Secure Environments (RISE) project continued in Liverpool with visits from award winning poets John Burnside and Rita Ann Higgins.

Our first shared reading groups also got underway at Calderstones Mansion House.

June

Issue 50 cover online versionIt was a celebratory month as the beautiful, bumper 50th issue of The Reader magazine came off the press. Wishing us a happy birthday with new content were David Constantine, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Blake Morrison and Les Murray amongst many others, and we also delved into the Reader archives for a selection of gems from the previous issues. The issue received international acclaim, being called ‘magnificently rich‘ by American review website New Pages.

Jane was shortlisted alongside another inspirational Liverpool woman, Josephine Butler, at the Addidi Inspiration Awards, we brought RISE to London and Reading and read for wellbeing at the Southbank Centre, and as an organisation TRO received the PQASSO Level 1 Quality Mark.

Come back tomorrow for our Reader Review of 2013 Part 2: July-December.

Wonderful Wonderstruck!

From Kate McDonnell, Quality Practice Manager and Eamee Boden, Wirral Apprentice

wonderstruck 1Every Friday morning, Eamee (one of The Reader Organisation’s young apprentices) and I sit down for an hour for a catch-up about the ups and downs of the week and a read together, but the last few weeks have been really special. We’ve been reading Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick which has been so captivating that we’ve found it hard to drag ourselves away to get on with the day! The book follows the separate stories of two lost children: one is told in words, and the other in beautifully detailed drawings – like stills from a silent film. The pictures made us tell the story to each other – reading the faces and voicing our feelings about what was happening. Here are Eamee’s thoughts on the experience:

“The last few weeks Wonderstruck has enabled me to look forward to something each Friday morning. Everything from the pictures, to the story, right down the mysteries that needed to be solved, has just made me want to get up in the morning. When I choose a book to read, I always judge it how it looks on the cover and how big it is for the reading to take place, but I know with that method of choosing a book isn’t always a good idea.

The book was recommended by Anna Fleming, one of TRO’s project workers, who had read this book with her 1-1’s with looked-after children because Kate and I needed something new to read. We just jumped at the chance at reading this. It was one of those books that you just didn’t want to ever end, and it was most certainly a real page turner. When it came to the pictures of Rose’s story, it made me stop and just admire how beautiful they were. I didn’t just turn the page straight away then; it kept me there for like 10 seconds, and sometimes if something stood out in the picture I would question what would be going on and how it would all pan out.

In Wonderstruck, there are 2 stories, one about a girl and the other a boy. When I said I didn’t want it to end I wanted each story to last even longer than it actually was. It is a mystery as well as a book that just grabbed you into the story itself; it just made you feel as if you were actually a part of everything that was happening. I like the fact it made us stop. Neither Kate nor I hadn’t read it before; neither of us knew if we were right or wrong so to read something that we just couldn’t put an answer to was in a way what just kept us going each week.

kate and eamee wonderstruckAt the very beginning there are pictures of wolves, not knowing what they were about, Kate and I were puzzled but that just kept us going, and then at the very end of the book the wolves’ reappeared but it clicked why and it all made sense.

When we completed this magnificent book, we simply had to celebrate. That wasn’t with a glass of wine, no; we celebrated by going off to the Planetarium in the afternoon at the Museum in Liverpool. And for somebody who had never been there, not even when I was a small child, I felt really pleased that Kate took me there and we had a really lovely afternoon. Just going to the Planetarium made it feel that we were part of that book. And although I should have known what one was, I didn’t and I was glad I had the opportunity to go and now know what it is.”

We decided to go to the Museum to celebrate after we finished because some of the book is set in the New York Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium features in it, as well as a diorama of wolves. We had a great afternoon there and Eamee managed to find a montage of wolves which could have come straight out of the book!

Did we become a bit wonderstruck by Wonderstruck? I guess we did…

Wonderstruck is certainly a favourite here at The Reader Organisation! Read a review from one of the young people we work with who enjoyed the book.

Apprentices in Antwerp: Zoe’s Story

The final blog in our Apprentices in Antwerp series, charting the experiences of our TRO Apprentices helping run our recent specially commissioned Read to Lead courses in the city, comes from our most recent Apprentice Zoe Jermy. Read on to see what Zoe thought of Belgium compared to her usual workplace in Wirral…

My trip to Belgium was good. I enjoyed the place as a whole; it was beautiful. The buildings were amazing and looked all medieval. On the way there the plane landing was a bit harsh; everyone was muttering to themselves about it but I got there safely in one piece. Helen and I went to find our bags – I found mine really quickly while Helen was looking really hard for hers (in the wrong place). We then waited for Casi in Amsterdam airport while having a nice cold coffee. Casi turned up and then we had to wait around for our train to Antwerp. The train arrived and some guy who worked with the train was pushing people on and shouting at Helen and Casi “Let this lady on!!” meaning me, it was funny. The train journey went well and we got to Antwerp and went to our first hotel – the room was lovely and modern. We then went to have something to eat in a little cafe down the road. The place was nice and it even had a little disco ball in.

Zoe Antwerp 2On Monday morning we met in the hotel lounge to talk over the plan for the first day. The weather wasn’t sunny but it was humid. We went looking for somewhere to have breakfast and found a little café over the road. I had a croissant and a yummy hot chocolate. It was real chocolate, not that rubbish powder stuff – it was the nicest hot chocolate I have ever tasted. We then had to carry a really heavy box each to the next hotel; I was not amused, my arms were twitching once I put the box down – it was a nightmare! My arms hurt for two days! We dropped the boxes off at the big hall and unpacked everything. We were running a Masterclass on shared reading with speakers of a foreign language. It was all a lot to take in and I had to give a case study about a woman who speaks a different language at home but speaks English in the group. I was nervous about the whole day.

On Tuesday morning we ran a showcase about who we are and the work we do. The showcase was good as I learnt some more about TRO and some stories of group members that were sad but also fantastic. In the evening Casi and Helen delivered a showcase demonstrating how shared reading can be used in educational settings while I took some time out. Helen and Casi knocked to ask how I was doing and brought me pizza to my door – yum yum!

Wednesday morning we checked into our other hotel and it had two beautiful gardens.  I got given an apartment (that I wouldn’t shut up about for days!) –  I was well chuffed. It had its own little kitchen, table and chairs, two little couch chairs with a little table in-between them, a flat screen TV and also an iron. I well would have moved in if it was on the Wirral. The sun started to brighten up over the next few days when we started to do the Read to Lead training. I had to be a facilitator in Casi’s group. I was nervous but the people in the group were all so lovely and friendly. After work Helen and I went to an Italian place that was really nice; I had pizza but it was huge so I couldn’t eat it all.

Zoe Antwerp 3On Thursday we met in the garden and talked over the plan of the day. I caught some sun too (shocked). We saw a little bit of the square and then went back to our hotel. That evening we went for a meal with a lady called Geert, who had organised for us to come to Antwerp and deliver training after meeting Jane last year. We went for pasta in the middle of the square – I didn’t know any of the meals but picked a cheese and spinach one and it was nice. We went for a walk on the last night and walked past this building full of flags. It was awesome. We also saw some statues – one of a man pulling his pants down (!) , one  of a man with his head and hand chopped off and another guy throwing his hand. I think that is what Antwerp means – to throw the hand – I don’t remember but it was something like that.

We then walked towards the river and saw the huge new Museum so we went up to the very top of it and the view was incredible. I saw some ugly flying bug and freaked out: I was saying “eeeewwwww what is it?” We then looked around for somewhere to eat; we found some open space that was a warehouse and we saw written on a board that it burnt down had been done up to how it used to look. We then found some nice little place to eat and I ordered a grilled salmon salad, which it was lovely. Afterwards, we started to walk back to the hotel but got lost and then realised we walked around in a big loop. It was nice to see the place before it was time to go home though.

Zoe Antwerp 6The next day was nice. In the morning I was brave and went for a little walk and saw the beautiful garden down the road. I then met Casi and Helen and got to work. I was helping with the practise shared reading exercise – it was fun! I loved all the different poems we read together and I also told everyone a little bit of my story and what I want to do in the future. Then all three of us got given a big sheet of paper with loads of thank you’s from everyone.

At the end of the day some visitors came from a local publishing company to celebrate their 5th birthday. We had our picture taken holding the free books they had given out and we all got a free glass of champagne! We said our goodbyes – I now know its 3 kisses that you give to say goodbye. Then Helen and I left to go to the train station and had to dodge and weave people – it was so busy and the sun was blasting down. The journey on the way back was fine, though we weren’t sure where to go for the plane. Once we were on board we had some Prosecco to celebrate a week of hard work – it was yummy!

Click on the links to read our previous Apprentices in Antwerp blogs from Eamee and Niall.

Apprentices in Antwerp: In Antwerpen

Last week, our Apprentices in Antwerp series started with Wirral Apprentice Eamee sharing her experience of helping to run a Read to Lead course in Antwerp as part of a commission by Boek.be and the Flemish Ministry of Education. The Belgian adventures continue with Development Apprentice Niall Gibney:

Niall Antwerp 1Anybody ever seen the film In Bruges? It stars Colin Farrell (the girls love him) and Brendan Gleeson (he looks like my uncle who’s ironically also called Brendan). Ifyou haven’t, here’s what happens in a snapshot: two contract killers visit Belgium on the behest of another contract killer and are commenting on how nothing ever really happens in Belgium. One character, Ray (Colin Farrell),  is a typical lad who doesn’t take the greatest interest in the cultural delights and history of Belgium – in particular, Bruges. The other is Ken, a wiser head who is more interested in culture and all the things Belgium has to offer. I tried to find a quote from the film which encapsulates how the characters felt upon arriving at Belgium but unfortunately, they are all pretty offensive to at least someone. A typical remark made by Ray if he could stop swearing for a minute would go something like this: “Why Belgium? What the bloody hell is in Belgium? Why would anybody want to visit Belgium?”

Needless to say this film was probably my only ever Belgian experience before we went on to deliver Read to Lead in Antwerp, so for the few weeks before we went rather than allow myself to get excited at a free break away (I say break, but rest assured I did have work to do, honest!) I just thought about Belgium in a similar way to Ray, combining my liking of the film with my dislike of the First World War – a lot of people died. Though I did say to myself, they’re also famous for beer and chocolate too so it can’t be too bad. That was my glimmer of hope.

Having just re-read these first two paragraphs I have to say sorry to any Belgians who might be happening to read this, I mean no offence and your peaceful country grew on me a lot, (though it was quite the culture shock compared to Liverpool), in that I don’t think I’ve ever felt safer anywhere else in my existence. The cups of tea were mad, I think I got given a three course cup of tea once – impressive, but sorry love I’ll have a Tetley in a greasy spoon thanks…

I loved the people who we met on the course, they were the best! Including one really naughty woman who had a cheeky smile – I like that – an older woman who we all wanted to put in our pockets and take home and a complete workaholic who devoted her whole life to helping children in care, bless her!

Niall Antwerp 2From the minute we started the course they all already got it – the message of shared reading. They all were already enthusiastic so we felt as if we could have just handed them some poems and got off but of course, we stayed and their enthusiasm was greater on the day of leaving than it was on the first day, a number of them walking among the lowlands to start their respective groups. I won’t go through every single thing that we did – we shared reading, you should already know this…

So what else happened in Antwerpen? We went to the cathedral and got a tour from a man, though we did have to pay a fiver to get in! (The Catholics don’t do that in Liverpool) We saw a bit of Reuben (they love that guy) (he did art); we went up to the 10th floor of a museum to enjoy the view (good, but no Liverpool skyline I might add);  had many walks around the city (I got lost), ate a lot  – I was on a full protein diet that week. Drunk a few Belgian beers but stayed away from Duvell – which means devil, thought it might have poisoned me – ate some chocolate (I promised the kids in our Leasowe Bookworms group I’d bring them chocolate back, I did but then I ate it….oops! They understood after I doubled their English sweet intake for a session)…

I brought a crocodile statue home to put on my table along with the panther, the eagle and the lion –I’m recreating the Amazon above a chicken shop on Smithdown! I was followed around shops and accused of robbing on more than one occasion (I don’t rob but I’m used to the preferential treatment, makes me feel like a star), yep so other than that they love art, and we drunk in a pub called the 11th commandment! It was a pub FULL of religious artefacts, I was bricking it, the man behind the bar looked like Hannibal Lecter, and I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t have wanted anybody in there at all so the more beer went down my grid the more I felt uncomfortable – then we left.

So, that’s Belgium for you. I enjoyed it, I don’t really know what In Bruges problem was, I mean whoever said nothing ever happens in Belgium should have come with me – they would have had a laugh then.

Apprentices in Antwerp: A Small Stone in a River

The Reading Revolution is growing in Belgium – just recently, The Reader Organisation headed over to Antwerp to run a three-day Read to Lead course in Antwerp. Our three TRO Apprentices also flew over to take part in the shared reading adventure, with one of our Wirral Apprentices, Eamee Boden, helping lead the course.

Here’s Eamee’s perspective on the big Belgian trip, the first in a series from our Apprentices:

Sitting on the train heading back to Amsterdam, I’m staring out the window looking at the landscape just past me by. Whilst I’m doing this my mind is casting back to the past three days on the Read to Lead course that Casi, Patrick and I led in Antwerp and meeting all the other lovely participants. The title for this post came from a lady who attended the course. She said that what we do with our literary learning is like when you put a small stone in a river and it travels far…

Day 1:  live reading.

Eamee Antwerp 4After all the trainees had come through the door  the day was started-off with everyone introducing themselves and saying a little bit about what they do, and we soon learnt that we had a real mixture of people from different backgrounds. We had people from education and public library services, to speech language therapists, and even a man who was a children’s magazine journalist. But what struck me was that all twelve trainees all wanted to know one thing: how The Reader Organisation works, how to run their own reading groups. Casi and Patrick asked everyone where they had heard about this training course. The replies were: in the local paper (we had our own section) and the on the local radio, ‘radio 2 de grootste familie’ (the biggest family).

Casi started speaking about great literature and how we use it in shared reading sessions, and one of the things she said really stuck in my mind: that everyone has ‘a right to discover books and literature’. I’m learning that too, that literature is a great way of connecting with different people, and discovering that you are alike. Reading is just like going on completely different journey: it takes you some place new and once it’s finished you come out the other side changed in some way.

That day we took part in a shared reading session of a story called ‘Two Words’ by Isabel Allenda, and a poem called 7301  by U A Fanthorpe.  Over the day, we learnt that stopping for pauses and asking questions during the reading of a story is good, because it gives you time to take-in what is being read and think about how it is making you feel. Also, that by reading the same thing but using our voices to make it different each time, you can change the meaning of a text completely. By the end of the day everyone had got more confident at reading aloud and I got a sense that the group, including me myself, felt that being a ‘reading practitioner’ really meant something to them. And this was just day one!

Day 2: live connections

Eamee Antwerp 1When we arrived at the venue, Casi, Patrick and I set up both rooms for the next part of this course. I set up the room which was brightly coloured with all sorts of wall art; it gave me inspiration with what we could do for Calderstones. I liked the fact it is original and the whole room was really colourful.

In the course information booklets, there was a very heart-warming story about a lady called Molly. A lady who is a recovering alcoholic but still found the shared reading group welcoming and in time began to have a love of poetry. We read this story with the course participants at the beginning of the day to give a clearer understanding about how the reading groups help such people from different walks of life. Whilst reading this I felt that the group gained a better understanding about what we were all about.

During that day we had a look at the research report TRO published with the University of Liverpool and Liverpool PCT: ‘An investigation into the therapeutic benefits of reading in relation to depression and well-being’.  Reading this, we found how group members work together to get meaning from a text. I liked the quote, ‘being able to tune-into what the writer is saying is becoming a sophisticated reader’.  For the rest of the afternoon the trainee practitioners were split into two groups. I was with Patrick and we read a poem called ‘Domestic Peace’ by Anne Bronte. I thought it was beautiful and everyone in the group liked it too. As the day grew wiser, so did everybody’s minds of working with The Reader in Antwerp. The second day was tiring but thoroughly worth-while.

Eamee Antwerp 2In the evening it was time to go out and explore more of Belgium. The excitement of getting the bikes and being a local for the evening really got me going, but the weather was starting to go miserable and by the time we were ready to go out it had started to thunder and lightning. So after a change of plan we walked to a museum called ‘Museum aan de stroom’. When we reached the top, it’s like being in the sky and where you see for miles around. Absolutely beautiful.

We sat in a lovely restaurant: I had veal and spaghetti and Casi and Patrick had salmon.

Day 3: live experience

The last day before we go home. We started the day off with questions and answers: during the week Casi had come up with a folder that the trainee practitioners could put their questions in, and in the evening Patrick and Casi would have a discussion on how to answer certain questions. It was good for me to see as it cleared up any questions that I had. There was one question I answered and I explained to the group, which was how I first found The Reader Organisation, and how my whole attitude about it has changed. At first, I would just think ‘what am I even doing here, I actually don’t know what we do’, but over the course of a year and half I’ve grown to know and be fond of what we do as an organisation. Today I’m reading literature I thought I would never read and have actually begun to love and understand the reading. I thought that telling the group this extra information would help them understand that it’s okay not to get something straight away, but over time it will come together and everything will just fall into place. By the end of this session everyone seemed very reassured and felt better together.

Eamee Antwerp 3Today was about experiencing first-hand what it would be like to be a shared reading practitioner, by taking it in turns to read a poem to the group and ask questions. This was something I really did enjoy and I felt that I could take part as a group member. After everyone had the chance to facilitate a poem of their choice, Patrick and Casi would then take everyone individually to give helpful feedback. Towards the end of this day everybody mentioned how the course had basically helped them throughout these three days: knowing that they will be running their own reading groups with the lending hand of The Reader, they think they will be fantastic facilitators.

Going home was a relief: with it being the first time I’ve been abroad I was glad when I could say ‘I’m going home today’. I generally missed a lot of people. And realising that I do certain things the same every week it has made me appreciate when I do go to my work that I actually love my work.

Amazon Appeal

From Niall Gibney, Community Development Assistant

Hello everybody,

amazon blogNow you may or not know that The Reader Organisation runs its very own Amazon second hand sales business and it has been running for the past year and a half, raising a whopping £3,744! Most of this amount went to last year’s fundraising target which was to raise £14,000 for a care leaving apprenticeship. This was successful and I and the Amazon volunteers (Carolyn and Susie) were proud to have contributed to this cause.

But the two reasons I’m writing this blog as a Fundraising Apprentice are:

 

1) To raise awareness that we do actually have a second hand books business

2) We are running low on books…we need more!

So I’m asking you, do you know anyone giving away books? Do you have lots to give away yourself? Know any publishers or organisations which might be able to help us out? The best books are usually unusual but we will take any books, including fiction. However, a lot of old fiction isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (in monetary value though not in literary value) so even those books we receive which are not worth anything online will always find a loving home, whether we give them away, sell them at a physical stall, or pass them on to a charity shop – the cycle repeats itself and nothing is wasted.

Please do get in touch with me at niallgibney@thereader.org.uk if you have any books to give and I can arrange to pick them up. Just pop me an e-mail and we can begin to raise money through Amazon for this year’s worthy cause. Watch this space for more to come on what exactly this worthy cause is . . .

Click here to be taken to our shop front – perhaps you might see something you want to buy yourself!

 

Apprenticeship Awards

A huge congratulations to The Reader Organisation’s Wirral Apprentice, Eamee Boden, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards!

EameeThe awards celebrate the brightest and most promising young apprentices across the region, recognising their commitment, contribution and success. Everyone at The Reader Organisation is very proud of Eamee, 19, who has been reading aloud with young people and members of her local community for over a year. She has also been very active in our recent fundraising campaign to employ another care-leaver apprentice like herself. You can read her personal account about how her apprenticeship has changed her own life for the better here.

The Apprenticeship Award winner will be announced at a glittering ceremony at St George’s Hall on Tuesday 12th March. Whatever happens then, Eamee is already a winner to us!

Support the Santas!

From Niall Gibney, Community Development Apprentice

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about Christmas. No, I’m not talking about our 9th (YES NINTH) Penny Readings. Erm, can you tell what it is yet? *Rolf Harris voice*

Now If you would have said something along the lines of “The Readers Santa Dash” I’d be on the phone to the fat man in the red suit to tell him how good you’ve been, but then again your behaviour is marked equally over the entire year. So if you’ve had a bad year: (ate too much cake, not made that phone call to that naggy relative, drunk way too much) then don’t worry I know the perfect remedy to win you those very important brownie points back from Mr Christopher Cringle!

Get behind our readings Santas by donating towards our apprenticeship cause!

Drumroll please for our red and blue clan…

Lizzie ‘Lionheart’ Cainblog photo
Dave ‘Gentleman’ Cookson
Ian ‘Quick’ Walker
Helen ‘Brave’ Wilson
Sophie ‘Blue Sledgehammer’ Povey
Ellen ‘Electric’ Perry
Chantel Baldry (from Essex)
Eamee ‘Blue Bulldozer’ Boden
Roisin ‘Zombie Destroyer’ Hyland
George ‘The Hawk’ Hawkins
Emma ‘Blue’ Gibbons
Niall ‘should have been blue’ Gibney
Lou ‘LoubyJo’ Jones

If the brownie points and warm mince pie feeling you get in your stomach aren’t enough to make you donate a fiver then please, please read this heart-warming story from Eamee, who tells you about the real reasons you should donate to our cause today: http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/trosantadash2012

Thanks and Happy Christmas!