Get Into Reading grows in Liverpool

Great news for growing the Reading Revolution at our base in Liverpool The Reader Organisation has recently received two successful bids for our work in the area, which will enable us to keep connecting people through great literature and reach even more people across the city.

Bev reads with her groupThe Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust have commissioned The Reader Organisation for a three year project running shared reading groups in chronic pain settings across the trust. We already a deliver a group for people living with chronic pain at Broadgreen Hospital, started as part of a research project by the Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) investigating the effects shared reading may have upon the condition. Though the research period has come to an end (with the report expected soon), the members’ benefits have ensured that the group is continuing. The impact of the chronic pain group was highlighted at this year’s Reader Organisation National Conference:

“I used to be crying at night sometimes …but now it’s given me a lift, I feel better and I can use the time better… to read instead.” – member of chronic pain group, Broadgreen Hospital

This new commission from The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust enables more shared reading groups to be set up in the area of chronic pain, as well as potentially expanding into dialysis wards and other areas of physical health.

We have also received funding from Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to continue our delivery of Get Into Reading across Liverpool until March 2014. This means that we can continue to build upon the 70+ groups currently running in a variety of settings across Liverpool, giving more people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to encounter the social, often powerful experience of shared reading:

“This group has been a lifeline for me. I escape everyday pressures for a few hours every week and I’d be lost without it.” – Peter, Get Into Reading member at Toxteth Library
Find out more about our shared reading projects in Liverpool and the North West by visiting the Where We Work section of our website.

Social Business Trust invests in The Reader Organisation

social business trust logoGreat news for the Reading Revolution – the Social Business Trust is investing £280,000 in The Reader Organisation, helping us to reach even more people through shared reading and combat social isolation through great literature.

The Social Business Trust (SBT) was formed in 2010, offering expertise and advice to social enterprises who want to grow and scale up their operations, alongside financial investment. Looking at a social enterprise, SBT assess the obstacles facing the organisation and establish the best possible support from their partners, managing investment and links between enterprises and supporters.

SBT’s investment in The Reader Organisation is its eighth investment in a social enterprise  – others have included The Challenge Network, the London Early Years Foundation and the Shakespeare Schools Festival – and will be made up of a £100,000 cash grant and £180,000 worth of professional support from SBT’s corporate partners. The professional support package, led by British Gas with support from SBT’s other corporate partners, will underpin our growth and business development, defining development strategy and recruiting new positions.

Adele Blakebrough, Chief Executive of Social Business Trust, said of the investment:

“The Reader Organisation is an incredibly inspiring social enterprise. Many people start off sceptical about how useful it can be to encourage people to read in groups, but when you see it in action the impact is transformational and uplifting. We are so pleased to be able to help them grow and reach more and more people with their wonderful work.”

Book close-upSBT’s investment will be vital in ensuring that Get Into Reading goes from strength to strength, reaching more of the people who most need the benefits that come from sharing great literature with good company. Currently, over 350 groups reach hundreds of people each week, bringing positive impacts such as self-esteem, boosted confidence and reduced social isolation. With the investment we can go some way towards achieving the ambition of delivering 1,920 weekly reading groups within five years and engage over 17,000 individuals, bringing closer our vision of providing access to shared reading groups to everybody in the UK.

Founder and Director of The Reader Organisation Jane Davis said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be backed by SBT in this way. The process to date has been an extremely valuable one, and we are looking forward to learning new ways of thinking and working through the support provided. The Reader Organisation has grown at a rate of about 30% since we were founded in 2008, but this is going to be different! It’s really exciting to be at the beginning of a period of unprecedented yet strongly supported growth which will help us spread the reading revolution across the UK.”

SBT’s partners are: Bain & Company, British Gas, Clifford Chance, Credit-Suisse, Ernst & Young, Permira and Thomson Reuters. For more information about SBT, visit the Social Business Trust website.