Jane’s Blog: Later life, running and reading

A look back at a piece from our founder and director Jane Davis from earlier this year. We were delighted to welcome Parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt to Calderstones in March, Jane reflected on his visit on her blog, starting as always with the daily poem:

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Feeling it: Reading the emotions of others


Discussions on literature and empathy continue to buzz around The Reader HQ following Obama’s sentiments on reading for empathy, our founder and director Jane Davis reflects on how literature can help us connect with others.

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Jane Davis becomes a UK Ashoka Fellow

The Reader Organisation Jane Davis 72 dpiCongratulations to Founder and Director of The Reader Organisation Jane Davis, who has been officially launched as a 2014 Ashoka Fellow. At an inspiring ceremony in London last week, Jane was welcomed into the Ashoka Fellowship network along with five other Fellows who are leading the way in making a personal drive to change the systems within which they work to solve social and environmental issues.

Ashoka is best-known as the leading global network of social entrepreneurs, existing to grow the impact that is made by social entrepreneurs and with the aim of getting closer to a world where everyone is a changemaker. There are currently more than 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in over 80 nations across five continents, with 56% of Fellows having so far effected a national public policy change. Each year hundreds of nominations for potential candidates are received by Ashoka, with elections made by the criteria of New Idea, Social Impact, Entrepreneuralism, Creativity and Ethical Fibre.

Ashoka LogoJane was handpicked to become one of the new UK Ashoka Fellows earlier this year, the first to be based in the North of the country. Jane was chosen for the pioneering practice of shared reading being a therapeutic tool which helps to tackle the problems of isolation and loneliness in an increasingly individualised society. Through the reading of great literature people are able to articulate their feelings and thoughts, improving wellbeing and building community.

Prior to her official launch, in September this year Jane was made the Ashoka Fellow of the Month; you can read Jane’s personal Story of Change on the Ashoka UK website, including how a novel by the late Doris Lessing transformed her view of the world overnight: http://uk.ashoka.org/spotlight-jane-davis

We’re incredibly proud of Jane to receive such an honour, increasing the effort of change that shared reading is making day by day on a national and potentially international scale. Congratulations to all the new Ashoka UK Fellows as we head into a new year filled with the great potential to make a change.

Take a look at the pictures from the Ashoka UK Fellows Induction ceremony on the Ashoka UK Facebook page and find out more about Ashoka on their Twitter: @AshokaUK