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GreetinGs from niall Gibney (in liverpool) and eamee boden (in Wirral)... Theres quite a lot in this annual report about locations, expansions and movements, but then our HQ is in Liverpool and a little (Liver) birdy told us that back in the day Liverpool was a major exporter - the biggest shipping and docking industry the world has ever seen. Could this have been possible without support from the Wirral? Providing a friendly competitiveness, a sibling rivalry if you will. It was across the River Mersey where the Reading Revolution first set sail, in Birkenhead, almost ten years ago. Now we have many hands on deck: weve got some great captains, and some newer to the ship learning the ropes, like us,The Reader Organisations first Apprentices. Ive really enjoyed the past year at The Reader Organisation, and there was nothing more enjoyable than delivering the presentation to Trusthouse that earned the cash to employ Miss Eamee! Its been like the sea; not always plain sailing but if you can make it through the storms and survive until the sun comes back out, that always makes it worth it. Now that Im in my second year, I can hoist the flag and begin to set sail, and with that I hand you to our youngest recruit... Reading is extending my horizons and on them I can see success, where my ship is heading. When I first joined The Reader Organisation I was nervous, but as the weeks and months flew by, Ive grown to feel a part of what I call The Reader family. The highlights of my week are reading at Egremont and Greasby primary schools.Theyre both completely different but going into the schools for a whole day each week and seeing how shared reading actually makes an impact on childrens lives, the 110% effort they make even when they find school life hard, makes my job such a joy. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first six months of my Reader voyage and I look forward to many more.


The Reader Organisation is an award-winning charitable social enterprise working to connect people with great literature, and each other. our mission Our mission is to build a Reading Revolution. our vision We envisage a world in which everyone has access to literature, and in which personal responses to books are freely shared in reading communities in every area of life.

our aims are to: Grow Get into Reading Create a National Culture of Shared Reading Work with one or more Councils as partners to transform a library service, modelling libraries as centres of community and personal learning Build a strong and flexible organisation.

STATS! Just a note on stats before we get going: numbers are given as an average as group numbers can fluctuate during the year.


Introduction 5 Significant developments 6 Regional activities 9 Scotland 9 Northern Ireland 13 North East 16 Wigan and Greater Mcr 19 Liverpool 23 Wirral 29 London 33 South West 39 Training 43 Wider World 48 Our People 50 End of Year Accounts 54

Its been a year of creativity, expansion and structure. These three words may seem incompatible but they are critical to how we operate as a high quality, literary, innovative and resourceful social business.


It has been another exciting year of growth for The Reader Organisation as we continue working hard to achieve our aims. While our Get Into Reading projects grow in depth and variety, weve also been busy creating organisational frameworks for development that will allow us to face the future with stability and confidence. Our geographic reach continues to spread, as this report will show you, with two project workers based in Scotland: one working with older and one with younger people. We are proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, which provides a visible assurance that our work is driven by social objectives. In February 2011, we were also delighted to have been named as one of Britains New Radicals by The Observer and NESTA, one of fifty in the country and one of twenty-five outside London. Id like to thank the Intern Team, who so creatively put our application together. Its been a year of creativity, expansion and structure. These three words may seem incompatible but they are critical to how we operate as a high quality, literary, innovative and resourceful social business. These qualities underpin all of our activities our projects, events, publications, evaluations, operations, systems and developments and as we grow, they become even more important. This report pulls out some of the highlights and significant new projects of the year. It cant showcase everything we do but it does, we hope, provide you with a distinct sense of what the Reading Revolution is all about. We start off with a few of the most significant developments for The Reader Organisation in the past year, before taking you on a trip around the areas of the UK were working in, starting up in the north with Scotland. So we hope youll stop what youre doing and read this. Finally, Id like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters, funders, staff, trustees and volunteers. Dr Jane Davis MBE Founder and Director,The Reader Organisation

Significant Developments
West Everton In August 2011, we moved from our birthplace at the University of Liverpool to The Friary Centre in West Everton. We are now completely settled in, have established a good working relationship with our landlords, West Everton Community Council, and are finding different ways of engaging with the local community, ranging from running a Get Into Reading group every week in the building for local residents, to a community allotment. We held our first ever public AGM here and set up a new project with Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (part funded by the Lloyds TSB Foundation), providing a long awaited opportunity for us to begin shared reading with children and families living in West Everton. Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Lingustic Systems In November, the University of Liverpool established a Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS). We have been forging a strong partnership with the centre, with a particular focus on researching and evaluating our work with people living with dementia, people engaged with the criminal justice system and people living with chronic pain. Apprenticeships In September 2011, thanks to funding from the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, we were able to appoint our second Apprentice. Being able to offer a life changing opportunity to another young person has strengthened our resolve to want to do more for young people in difficult situations. Our whole staff team have committed to fundraising to be able to provide a third Apprentice with the opportunity to build on their strengths, improve their confidence and for us to be able to provide a living salary and opportunities for personal development. Read more in our Wirral report. Stop What Youre Doing And Read This! Jane Davis contributed a chapter on the Reading Revolution in Stop What Youre Doing and Read This (Vintage, 2011), a collection of ten essays by authors from science, publishing, technology and social enterprise. Out of this chapter came conference invitations, meeting requests and a generous donation towards our outreach work.

Volunteering During the period of the report we secured our largest pot of funding to date, from the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. This funding is for a five year volunteer project that seeks to enable those at risk of or suffering from mental health difficulties, isolation or unemployment to benefit from joining a team of volunteers who are taking Get Into Reading to elderly people in care homes on Merseyside. The project provides volunteers with training and support from TRO staff, with a focus on their own personal development and an impact on their wider lives. We provide opportunities for volunteers to be trained as readers for elderly people, assistants in GIR groups, or for office-based roles. Volunteers receive regular feedback from TRO staff, through which their achievements will be recognised and celebrated. The project is already well established in Wirral and wider Merseyside and continues to gather momentum.

(c) Maria Flores

(c) GlasGow city council

Regional activities

in brief It has been an exciting development for us to begin working in Scotland, firstly with older people thanks to funding from Big Lottery Scotland and then, with special funding from the Tudor Trust, a threeyear project with young people and their families in Glasgow.


in numbers 2 team members 15 groups each week 90 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts Older People Get Into Reading Pilot Project for Older People with Dementia and Carers funded by Big Lottery Scotland Young People Get Into Reading Glasgow funded by the Tudor Trust Dalry High School Pilot Project, Dumfries and Galloway

in foCus Get Into Reading Glasgow Based at the St Mungos Learning Community in the East End of Glasgow, this three year transition project (funded by the Tudor Trust) aims to promote, develop and deliver Get Into Reading groups for children in schools and their families, with a particular focus upon students in years P6 and P7. We engage with a cluster of schools to promote the enjoyment of literature, encouraging people and their families living in the Learning Community to see reading as a fun, beneficial and life enhancing activity. The project is also working hard to engage the families of the children involved by running groups for parents and, with input from group members, helping to redesign the local library. Dalry High School Pilot Project, Dumfries and Galloway A twelve-week pilot project was set up in St Johns Town of Dalry Secondary School to run a weekly GIR group for female students aged 1315 who had been experiencing conflict within their peer groups and lacked self-esteem and confidence. The project had great results. Get Into Reading Pilot Project for Older People with Dementia and Carers This pilot project, specifically designed to engage older people living with Dementia and their carers across Scotland, was launched in August 2011 after receiving 10,000 from Big Lottery Scotland. The project had three distinct components: 1. 2. 3. Deliver thirty-six taster GIR sessions across the whole country, ranging from the North-East (a taster session in a castle in Banff), to the South-West (a hospital ward in Dumfries and Galloway). Run two twelve-week long pilot projects in Dumfries and Galloway, one for carers and one for both people with dementia and their carers. Deliver a Showcase event at the National Centre for Dementia Research at the University of Stirling, Looking Back, Moving Forwards (forthcoming July 2012)

The project has also been supported by Alzheimer Scotland, who have hosted many of the taster sessions and commissioned an A Little, Aloud workshop for staff.


Each week over 280 children take part in 20 group, one-to-one and whole school readings. Many of these children had poor attendance records, low opinions of school and had never even held a book outside of the classroom. Within a year the same children have read out loud for the first time, recommended stories and poems to their friends and walked through the school gates smiling, excited for what could happen in the story that day. Get Into Reading has become part of the fabric of each school with an effect lasting beyond our sessions; whole schools are united in a love for reading and those children disengaged with their studies have found a confidence to contribute more in class. Patrick Fisher, Young Persons Project Worker Before Christmas I heard three children walking past my office on their way back from their group still talking about the poem they had just read. In my fifteen years of teaching at the school this was the first time I had heard any children, let alone three 8 year olds, all still contributing to a serious discussion about a text outside of the classroom. Mrs Gonzalez, Head Teacher, Sacred Heart Primary School in tHe spotliGHt EDGE 2012: In March the Older Peoples pilot project won the Social Category at the EDGE 2012 Awards. The award recognises the projects ability to engage with, and make a difference in, local communities. WHat else? 23 people in Scotland have been trained through our A Little, Aloud workshop, enabling them to lead one-to-one shared reading aloud sessions with the people they care for. We are now a registered charity in Scotland: SC 043054

in tHeir oWn Words This is better than TV! Magic, pure magic. Man living with dementia in Oban



Northern Ireland
in brief Our small but powerful presence in Northern Ireland demonstrates how Get Into Reading is strongly felt. Delivering showcases and presenting at conferences have provided opportunities to explore working in partnership with health and education services.

Education Queens University, Belfast

in numbers 1 team member 5 groups each week 49 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts Criminal justice Reading for Life, Hydebank Wood Prison Get Into Reading for Ex-offenders


in foCus Reading for Life, Hydebank Wood Prison We have been reading with the fourty-four women in Hydebank Wood Prison over the past two years as part of the Reading for Life pilot project, a collaborative initiative between The Reader Organisation and the National Personality Disorder Team at the Department of Health/Home Office. Get Into Reading for Ex-offenders: Through the Educational Shakespeare Company (ESC), who work with non-politically affiliated ex-prisoners in Northern Ireland, we are extending our project to offer a consistency to the women in Hydebank on their release. A pilot project has been set up which will be evaluated, and in the next year we also hope to extend a welcome to the male ex-prisoner community and youth at risk.


Its hard to believe that P is now doing Toe-by-Toe [working with and mentoring other women in literacy learning]. She would NEVER have participated in this, or even volunteered for anything before Get Into Reading! Prison Governor, Hydebank Wood Prison

in tHeir oWn Words

When we go back to our cell, we take your stories and poems with us, as thoughts, not paper. We get locked when we go back, and those stories get locked with us. Last week, that story (David Constantines Under The Dam) was about me. It was my life. I could identify with that woman who has lived a lifetime of feeling second-best in her husbands eyes. I thought about it for days, that story, I mean. I thought about my own life, how I have dealt with those feelings. The story helped me to see it from someone elses point of view and I was able finally to make my peace with it. J, group member, Hydebank Wood prison In the second week of our Get Into Reading sessions, one student, B bravely shared a very personal experience, impelled by the story we were reading at the time a painful struggle with debilitating depression, for which B had to take over a year off to facilitate recovery. Here he was, in the company of relative strangers, speaking eloquently and emotionally, about those experiences. I can understand this poem, says B, its a way of understanding what depression is for me a way of putting it into words. I like that. Patricia Canning, Project Worker, Northern Ireland


North East
in brief Our Reader-in-Residence at Low Newton Prison doesnt just deliver Get Into Reading groups, he has also created links with Durham Literature Festival and other organisations to ensure that theres a vibrant, cultural life within the prison.

Criminal Justice HMP Low Newton in foCus

in numbers 1 team member 2 groups each week 5 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts:

Reading for Life, HMP Low Newton These reading groups are also part of the Reading for Life pilot project (see Northern Ireland). At Low Newton, the Reader-in-Residence, Charlie Darby-Villis, runs two groups, both in the Learning Shop within the prison library. These are open to the general prison population and to women in the Primrose (DSPD) Programme. The prison librarian has also been trained by us.


in tHeir oWn Words

One of the women from my Monday group is being released, so she came up to me to say goodbye thanking me for the Reading for Life group because its the only thing thats kept me sane for the past six months. She then proceeded to reveal that she planned not only to finish Great Expectations, which weve been reading for the last four months, but to read it aloud with her husband that our way of reading had inspired her so much that she felt that it would be something that she needed to both continue and share. Charlie Darby-Villis, Reader-in-Residence, HMP Low Newton

in tHe spotliGHt PrisonerActionNet Awards 2011: Get Into Reading shortlisted.

(c) Visit county DurhaM


(c) Manchester city council


Wigan and Greater Manchester

in brief This year a new commission from Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust means that we have been able to extend our work out from Wigan into Manchester and the surrounding areas. In Wigan, our staff have been working with group members to help them achieve Open College North West accreditation, removing another barrier to employment.


in numbers 4 team members 36 groups each week 112 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts Health and Wellbeing Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust Community Worklessness project commissioned by Wigan Council Criminal Justice Greater Manchester Probation Service Older People Ashton, Leigh & Wigan Memory Assessment Service


in foCus John Denmark Unit The John Denmark Unit, part of Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust, is one of only three inpatient wards in the country for Deaf Sign speakers with serious mental illness. Because most service users here do not read English, the reading group is conducted through a professional Sign translator (funded by a generous grant from the DOyly Carte Charitable Trust) who translates the text (usually poems) and the discussion. This is not only translation into different language, but into a different art form, where expressive nuances of gesture and movement take the place of the sound or music of poetry. Our Reader-in-Residence also works across a range of other specialist mental health provisions, including young peoples acute and secure inpatient wards, older peoples services, medium secure services and in-reach at HMP Styal and drug and alcohol inpatient detox. Greater Manchester Probation Trust Project Funded by the Trusthouse Foundation, this project concluded in July 2011. It established shared reading groups in seven Approved Premises and trained seventeen staff. The project was independently evaluated by the Revolving Doors Agency, whose report highlighted the many benefits to hostel residents, such as improving literacy, alleviating boredom, and providing a source of relaxation. An extension project, funded jointly by GMPT and the Trusthouse Foundation, is in the process of being established. Worklessness We have delivered Get Into Reading with Wigan Council since 2010, providing personal benefits for unemployed individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, mental health problems, and to reduce levels of worklessness. The groups work to facilitate recovery and increase social inclusion for people with enduring mental health problems and improve community wellbeing through increased provision of and access to sustainable health services. To date the project has far exceeded targets, engaging with 47% more people than we expected and a further 26% more engaging in volunteering, training or employment.


in tHeir oWn Words

I was and still am amazed at the results which the reading group attains. The members come from different walks of life and with different problems to overcome. I would never have guessed that by asking (always requesting, never forcing) people to read aloud you would see them transformed from lacking in confidence and being somewhat introspective, into confident and engaging individuals who clearly look forward to being involved with the group and its next session. Stephen Timms, Director, Compassion in Action The Reader Organisation trained local support workers, supervised them in their early [shared reading] groups and developed a programme of readings tailored especially for people with memory retention problems. The outcomes derived from the work (utilising validated psychometric measures) indicated that the groups were successful in their aims to improve the quality of life and mental wellbeing of people with dementia. The observational views of the support workers confirmed this and the participation and spontaneity within the groups surprised all facilitators. Peter Harrison, Senior Commissioning Manager, NHS Ashton, Leigh & Wigan Get Into Reading has been a valuable and insightful experience for me. From the first group I sat in on, it became evident that the reading aloud of short stories and poems was an effective means of bringing people together and allowing them to discuss their lives in a safe and open environment Debbie Browne, librarian and trained facilitator Marsh Green Library, Wigan WHat else? In our most recent evaluation 89% of group members in Wigan said they felt more confident about taking part in group discussion 22 beneficiaries on the Worklessness project have achieved Open College North West accreditation, which will help them in their job search, whilst a further 26 have gone into employment and 23 have gone on to volunteer.


(c) anDrew haMpton


in brief Our work in the city of Liverpool and the surrounding areas includes Get Into Reading groups in all of our specialist areas. Many of the projects listed below are re-commissions and we are working towards ensuring the sustainability of these projects. With a huge variety of work going on, weve decided to focus on the newer and more challenging projects of the year.


in numbers 8 Project Workers 102 groups each week 600 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts Health and Wellbeing Well Read commissioned by Liverpool PCT Mersey Care NHS Trust Older People Knowsley Care Homes commissioned by Knowsley PCT Halton Care Homes commissioned by Halton MBC BUPA Criminal Justice HMP Liverpool Womens Turnaround Project Young People (018 yrs) including one-to-one sessions, school and community groups Fazakerley School Looked-after children funded by JP Getty Junior Charitable Trust


Education Liverpool Hope University Community Toxteth Library West Everton Community Council in foCus Liverpool Hope University In September 2011, inspired by hearing one of our Apprentices reading aloud, Liverpool Hope University commissioned us to deliver a Reader-in-Residence project in its Faculty of Education. This aims to instil a love of reading in hundreds of undergraduate students. Two staff and several volunteers ran twenty-one groups each week throughout the academic year, engaging with 550 students. Hope Readers is commissioned until July 2014. Well Read This was a pilot project, commissioned for one year, to see if the social prescribing model used by some GPs could work for reading groups. We set up 6 GIR groups within libraries and health centres over the course of the year and encouraged GPs to refer their patients as a complement or alternative to drug treatments.Twenty individuals have engaged with the project on a regular basis so far, with numbers steadily rising towards the end of the project. 3 GPs were using the referral system with many more self-referrals. Evaluation forms have been completed by those who have attended groups for over 3 months and this information is currently being compiled. At the end of the project we received continuation funding of 25,000 to keep the groups running for another year, until March 2013. Womens Turnaround Project Fully aware of the need, we ran an unfunded group at the Womens Turnaround Project (a centre that provides much needed support for female offenders and those at risk of offending) for several years. A successful bid to the Pilgrim Trust gave us funding for a three-year project to ensure that these vulnerable, at-risk women continue to have access to a Get Into Reading group. We have read with thirty-seven women so far and the funding also enables us to provide training to ensure that the groups are sustainable far into the future.



in tHeir oWn Words

When I first started working in Toxteth, not many people knew much about Get Into Reading but now all of our groups are well attended and members turn up week after week, rain or shine, to attend their group. As well as watching the groups grow, I have seen individuals grow in confidence, social awareness and develop a sense of community. I have members that feel so excluded from society that they do not go out of the house alone except to attend the reading group, once a week, every week without fail. Beverley LaRoc, Get Into Reading Project Worker, Toxteth The strength of the future delivery of therapeutic services has got to be based on our working in partnership with other organisations, as we have with The Reader Organisation since 2007. This gives us the opportunity to bring in new approaches and so enhance the experience of users of our services. Cath McCafferty, Head Librarian, Mersey Care NHS Trust in tHe spotliGHt

Guardian Public Service Awards 2011: Mersey Care Reads was named as joint runner-up in the Partnership Working category Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards 2011: Jane Davis and Niall Gibney shortlisted in the Against All Odds category TEDx: After winning the New Radicals award from The Observer and NESTA, Jane Davis was invited to participate in The Observers TEDx event by giving a talk at the simulcast event in Liverpools Bluecoat on 10th March 2012.


reader events Penny Readings and Hapenny Readings, St Georges Hall, 4th December 2011 This was our eighth Penny Readings and our second Hapenny Readings. Readings were by Frank Cottrell Boyce, David Morrissey, Tommy Donbavand and our very own Angela Macmillan. Magician Darren Campbell, the Wirral Ukuele Orchestra, pianist Jasmine Scarisbrick and singer Lauren Spink added in some extra sparkle. Chapter and Verse events, Mersey Care NHS Trust sites, 12th-16th October 2011 For the third year running, The Reader Organisation teamed up with Mersey Care NHS Trust and the Bluecoats Chapter & Verse Literature Festival in Liverpool for a series of author visits. Colin Grant, John


Healy and Sarah Hall visited Ashworth Hospital, the Kevin White Unit, and Crosby Library. The events brought together authors and readers (current and potential) in an informal and open way to share readings, questions and conversations. WHat else? 92% of care home staff surveyed as part of the Knowsley Care Homes project said that residents social engagement was improved during their reading sessions. 100% of the looked-after children we read with one-to-one told us they enjoyed reading books they wouldnt have chosen themselves, and that they enjoyed discussing their ideas and opinions.

(c) Mersey care nhs trust


(c) wirral council


in brief Wirral Council and Wirral NHS have funded our work in the borough for the last five years. Our readers range in age from 4-100 and include looked-after children, carers, people with mental and physical health problems, dementia and learning disabilities, homeless people and people wanting to make new friends and enjoy reading together.


in numbers 10 team members 108 groups each week 640 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts Health and Wellbeing Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust Forum Housing Wirral NHS Wirral Drug and Alcohol Action Team Community Forum Housing Wirral Libraries, funded by Wirral Council Older people Delivery in care homes across Wirral are funded by Wirral NHS Young People Reading one-to-one with looked-after children, funded by JP Getty Charitable Trust Reader-in-Residence at Egremont Primary School Reader-in-Residence at Greasby Primary School


in foCus Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust This year saw a new project with drug and alcohol service users within Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust, providing groups at two different centres and training for four members of staff who will eventually take on the running of the groups themselves. Forum Housing We were pleased to receive our first commission this year from a housing association, Forum Housing, which helps 16-25 year olds in housing need. Here, we are reading with young mums and their babies, and young people with vulnerable mental health. Were also training their staff to use shared reading as part of their jobs. Reader Apprenticeship Programme This year has seen the beginning of a three-year paid apprenticeship, The Reader Organisations second, for a Wirral care leaver who is helping us bring the pleasure of reading to primary school children and also getting into reading herself. This wonderful opportunity has been funded by Trusthouse Charitable Foundation and provides a great start to the working life of a young person. The recruitment process for this apprenticeship sparked the organisation-wide commitment to helping more young care leavers. We are currently in the midst of a funding drive to enable us to create more opportunities like this.

Since being at The Reader Organisation I have had unlimited support. Moving into a flat by myself has been the biggest obstacle Ive faced so far. In facing these adult scenarios since starting at The Reader Ive gone from this uncertain girl to being a young responsible adult and its been scary; however with the continuous support of The Reader I have got through that obstacle and Im now living responsibly. Having the opportunity to be an Apprentice has been completely life-changing. Eamee Boden, Get Into Reading Apprentice


in tHe spotliGHt The Reader Organisations second national conference, Reading for Wellbeing, took place on 17th May 2011 at the Floral Pavillion, New Brighton. Our special guest speakers from the US, Professor Maryanne Wolf, and author Marilynne Robinson, joined 246 delegates: GPs, teachers, psychiatrists, librarians, academics, readers, students, care home staff, publishers, journalists, nurses and occupational therapists. The conference led to a number of new projects and training commissions, including from West London Mental Health Trust (see p. 35).

in tHeir oWn Words

Its humbling. I am constantly amazed by the enthusiasm and concentration of our reading group at Willow Bank, despite the poor health and mobility of most members. They are committed to attending once a week for the group support and friendship but mostly to enjoy a wide variety of stories, poems and novels that we have shared. I really enjoy the rich discussion stemming from personal and common experiences which is stimulated by the literature we share. One members sums it up by saying This is simply the best day of the week; I look forward to it so much. Rhiannon Evans, Volunteer Reader, Big Lottery Project Its a responsibility and its a joy. Its a commitment and its a privilege. Sheila Houldin, Volunteer Reader, Big Lottery Project Without the reading group, I dont feel that my recovery would have been possible. Listening to someone tell a story, read a play or recite a poem holds my attention for far longer than anything else can, giving me food for good thoughts and distracting my attention away from my issues and addiction triggers. The snacks, the tea and coffee, the warm, safe and non-judgmental atmosphere all contribute to making this a place where people want to be, where I want to be Pete, GIR group member


(c) transport




in brief This year our London team has grown from two staff members to five, and three volunteers to sixteen, with new commissions in Barnet, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. Across all of our groups in London, when asked what difference being in the reading group has made to their lives, 85% of group members say they are more likely to share books or poems with friends or family members, 86% say its a chance to meet people they wouldnt meet in their day-to-day lives and 81% are more understanding towards other people.


in numbers 5 team members 36 groups each week 200 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts

Health and Wellbeing Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust West London Mental Health NHS Trust


Community Barnet Volunteering project, in partnership with Barnet Libraries Kensington & Chelsea Reader-in-Residence, in partnership with Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Libraries, Inner North West London Primary Care Trusts, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust Lambeth Reader-in-Residence, in partnership with Lambeth Libraries and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Tower Hamlets Reader-in-Residence, in partnership with Idea Store Criminal Justice HMP Wormwood Scrubs, in partnership with Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust in foCus HMP Wormwood Scrubs Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust commissioned us to provide a three-month pilot of two weekly reading groups for men in HMP Wormwood Scrubs. Healthcare staff refer men to the group, particularly those who are identified as experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties, including anxiety and depression. Some men have literacy difficulties and a number have low or limited English language capacity, but engagement has been very positive with many participants returning to the group. 95% of group members said that they felt more relaxed, and more able to cope with stress because of being in the group. Barnet Volunteering Project In partnership with Barnet Libraries we have developed our first volunteer-led project in community settings. We recruited, trained and provided support meetings for twelve volunteers to work in pairs to run seven shared reading groups across Barnet. Host organisations included Barnet Multilingual Wellbeing Service, Barnet Homes and The Hyde Childrens Centre and we linked up Mind in Barnet and Barnet Refugee Service to refer people to the group.


West London Mental Health NHS Trust This one-year Reader-in-Residence provides reading groups on in-patient wards, particularly in secure forensic settings. Our aims are to improve quality of life and service user experience, and to enable engagement and social interaction while improving wellbeing. The project is providing reading groups at the St Bernards Hospital site, and one-to-one and group reading sessions at Broadmoor Hospital. We have also provided training for up to sixteen Trust staff and support them to deliver groups in these settings.

in tHeir oWn Words

The reading group has boosted my self-esteem since I have participated and has given me more self-confidence when I have discussions with staff in general; it has encouraged me to read more in my spare time which has released a lot of stress off my shoulders as I have been suffering from depression. Group member, HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Weve been working very closely with The Reader Organisation for the last two years to establish and consolidate the Book Breaks sessions in six of our buildings. This has provided us with the missing link in what the Idea Store offers: a reading experience unlike any other in a library setting. Our customers tell us they really value Book Breaks and we know from what they say that the experience makes a difference to their lives. Sergio Dogliani, Deputy Director, Idea Store I take something good away from it too. Its hard to explain, but I leave the group on a high. Seeing how reading has brought people together, and observing people make friends is something special. How often do we sit with strangers from diverse backgrounds and with different experiences and talk? Volunteer, Barnet


in tHe spotliGHt Read and Dont Weep by Wayne Gooderham, Time Out: London, 1st December 2011 Jane Davis particapated in a panel discussion, Literature: The Medicine Chest of the Soul at the LSE Literary Festival, 29th February 2012

reader events Penny Readings London at British Library, Sunday 22nd January The Reader Organisation teamed up with Vintage Classics and the British Library to bring our famous Penny Readings from Liverpool to London for the first time. The event marked the beginning of Dickens bicentennial year and featured a fantastic ensemble of entertainers, musicians, magicians and readers, including AS Byatt, Louis de Bernires, and comedian Arthur Smith. partner events Stories Before Bedtime at the Criterion Theatre, London Halloween, 31st October, featuring: Mark Gatiss (pictured, right) Patricia Hodge and Tim McInnerny Twisted Love, 10th Feb 2012, featuring: Niamh Cusack, Tom Hiddleston, Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani Stories Before Bedtime, in association with The Reader Organisation, is a series of late-night readings at the Criterion Theatre in Londons Piccadilly Circus. Each event is designed to champion the love of reading and stories, transporting the audience back to a time when being read to before bedtime was a fundamental part of everyday life. WHat else? Our London reading groups are very diverse, with more than 50% of our reading group members in London coming from non-white-English backgrounds. Over 55% of our group members describe themselves as having a disability, and of those over 50% mention mental ill-health.


(c) Bill KniGht


(c) Matt Jessop


South West
in brief Our staff in the South West are working across a huge area: Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Dorset. Their work, which is now in its second year, has a health and wellbeing focus, with strong partnerships forging with library and mental health services.


in numbers 5 team members 14 groups each week 91 people reached each week

Commissions and proJeCts Health and Wellbeing Community groups for mental health recovery, commissioned by Devon Library Services, Plymouth County Council and Somerset PCT GP Surgery Reading Group funded by Outlook South West Day centre groups funded by Tudor Trust Older People Library Memory Groups funded by The Tudor Trust and Devon Library Services Community Newton Ferrers Reading Room and West Park reading group funded by The Tudor Trust Cullompton Community Reading group commissioned by Devon Library Services


in foCus Community Groups for Mental Health Recovery Devon is a national pilot area for the Recovery approach and we have been working with Recovery Managers in Mental Health Trusts and service-user forums to develop and deliver groups in clinical, care and community settings. These groups provide consistency, enjoyment and meaningful social engagement to support often chaotic transitions between treatment and growing self-determination. We have piloted the transition from groups in treatment settings to library settings in order to raise interest from funders for an interlinked network of instant access groups for people at all stages of recovery. Library Memory Groups Library Memory Groups are a specific response to the elderly and retirement demographic in the South West. Commissioned by Devon Library Services, the attendance at these groups has doubled this year and retention is strong with an average of eight people coming each week. The concentration, sense of achievement and comfortable socialisation benefits to members have caught the attention of health professionals and councillors, such as Jo Bussell, Adult Social Care Plymouth County Council, We need one of these in all the libraries. The volunteers younger perspectives and voices add to the interest and variety of the group and the social de-stigmatisation of dementia. Newton Ferrers Reading Room The restored Reading Room at Newton Ferrers is now home to a popular ongoing community Get Into Reading group. In this small estuarial village, there is no library and a poor bus service so we plan to build interest and confidence with local people, encouraging them to complete our training course and run the groups on a volunteer basis for community cultural interest, resilience and sustainability.


in tHeir Words

These groups are successful in promoting recovery for mental ill health and in creating community and social connections. They now have a proven track record across the country and I hope, in the future, they will become well established in Plymouth. Dr Mary Embleton, Sentinel Mental Health Lead, Plymouth

The group has challenged the patients cognitive and communication skills in a very positive way, it has allowed them to meet new people who themselves have provided support for both patient and carer and they have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the memory group. Jane Sword, Clinical Consultant for Dementia, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust I havent had such an enjoyable two hours for as long as I can remember. Cllr Roger Croad, Devon It helps me understand my grandma better. Im not afraid of reading aloud now. MOTO volunteer, Exeter Library Memory Group WHat else? A Get Into Reading group taking place at a GP surgery recruited eight people and reported 100% attendance over ten weeks. 83% of group members from South West Mind reported that Get Into Reading had provided an opportunity for them to meet people whose personal circumstances were completely different from their own.


Reading alone is interesting; reading aloud is investing, in people, trust and friendship.
Nicholas Lee, librarian

(c) Maria Flores


Training Old Friends and New

in brief Weve worked with a number of new commissioners over the past year, including: Hampshire County Council Education and Learning Service; Midlothian Adult Literacy and Numeracy Initiative; Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland; Isle of Wight NHS; South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; and Grimsby Libraries. It has become increasingly clear that the ongoing success of our courses has led to a solid core of loyal supporters, which in turn has led to a number of re-commissions, some of which are detailed below. in numbers


26 Read to Lead courses, creating 270 new Shared Reading Facilitators 9 A Little, Aloud Workshops, enabling 87 people to use the anthology as a resource for one-to-one shared reading experiences 5 Showcases, introducing 89 new people to The Reader Organisations work 14 Masterclasses, broadening and deepening the practice of 152 Shared Reading Facilitators 1 bespoke consultation event for Lancashire Libraries on establishing shared reading projects for young people 2 learning exchange visits to Laeseforeiningen, our sister organisation in Denmark



in foCus South East Wales Libraries in which two Read to Lead courses, a Showcase, an A Little, Aloud workshop and a Masterclass was commissioned for library staff in South East Wales library authorities as a result of the commitment of Ann Jones, Libraries, Museum and Arts Manager, Monmouthshire, Gill John, Head of Newport Libraries, and Vivienne Thomas, Outreach and Rural Services Librarian. Hull NHS in which a Showcase and a Read to Lead course was recommissioned for 2012, led by Arts and Health Officer, Melissa Brolls. Stoke-on-Trent Libraries, in which Principal Librarian Anne Mackey is building on the success of a pilot volunteer project with further Read to Lead training. Warrington Libraries, led by Read for Health Officer Anna Wenlock, sought new partners and funding to commission further training. Tesco commissioned us to deliver a national Community Wellbeing and Reading project. We have engaged with over 150 people on this project so far: training thirty-nine of Tescos Community Champions to deliver one-to-one reading sessions and delivering a weekly Get Into Reading group in the Litherland store. Weve also been able to do community fundraising at one of their stores. The impact of the project on their staff and the wider community has delighted Tesco, who have recently re-commissioned the project for another year. in tHeir oWn Words

What fascinates and inspires me about my work is that I genuinely never stop learning and never stop wanting to learn whether that be enriching my knowledge of the kind of literature that I might use in a shared reading session or learning more about how I might best work in a particular setting, be it with under-5s or over-95s. Clare Ellis, Project Worker


Continuing Professional Development

This year has been an exciting trial period for The Reader Organisations Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provision. For the past 12 months, everyone who has completed the Read to Lead has had free access to: monthly masterclasses throughout the UK the online community of the Shared Reading Hub subscription to The Reader magazine special discounts at The Reader Organisations events

The success of this trial year means that were investing further in ongoing learning support, so that we can maintain and develop the practice of the 500 people who have completed Read to Lead and are practicing shared reading throughout the country.

in tHeir oWn Words

Its a different sort of training programme. Really enjoyable and the ethos is so refreshing. Respect-based discussion of poetry or prose within a group context is just so nourishing for everyone that takes part or simply chooses to listen. I have always loved reading and this skill, which I will hone over the years to come, will help me share this love, this escape, this refreshing of the mind, heart and soul, with all those I am fortunate enough to work with. Frances Dowds, Project Manager, Libraries Northern Ireland, Health in Mind

Read to Lead has opened a whole other world for me to explore. Volunteer at Ferries Family Groups, Wirral Trust


WHat else? Read to Lead 100% of trainees would recommend Read to Lead to a colleague 98% of trainees agree that they have a practical appreciation of literature and its social value 75% of those who completed Read to Lead did not have a degree in literature 72% of trainees say that skills gained from the course will have a positive impact on their work beyond the reading groups A Little, Aloud Workshop 100% of participants agreed that shared reading should be an activity offered to all care home residents 90% of participants reported that their confidence had grown as a result of the workshop Masterclasses 98% of Shared Reading Facilitators feel that Masterclasses are an investment in both personal and professional development 90% of Shared Reading Facilitators say that regular Masterclasses are essential to their continuing practice in tHeir oWn Words

Providing in-house training for our Reader-in-Residencies gives me the chance to build links with professionals and volunteers in our partner organisations, building up my understanding of the issues affecting them in their work, allowing us to tailor our delivery to the reality of mental healthcare settings. Mary Weston, The Reader Organisations Mental Health Projects Manager Ive never been on a course that was so dedicated and enthusiastic about its purpose it was the highlight of my week. Mental Health Professional, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation


(c) Maria Flores


Wider World... International Partners

Weve continued to develop our relationships this year with international partners: Laeseforeiningen,The Reading Society, continues to grow its profile and reach in Denmark; so does the State Library of Victorias Book Well project in Melbourne, Australia. Were delighted to be working with them to develop the reach of shared reading across the world.

The Reader magazine

The magazines editorial team, headed by Professor Philip Davis, has published another four excellent issues of The Reader this year, full of new fiction and poetry, essays on classic and neglected works, interviews, thought-pieces, advice for reading groups and research into reading. Particular highlights were: No. 42: an interview with Israeli novelist A.B.Yehoshua and an advance extract from Brian Pattens memoir No. 43: Gwyneth Lewis writes as the Poet on her Work and new fiction from David Constantine No. 44: fiction from Gabriel Josipovici and an advance extract from Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson No. 45: Bernard ODonoghue as the Poet on his Work and an interview with actor David Morrissey

The magazine helps us to spread the message of our Reading Revolution and puts into practice our commitment to publishing great literature to hundreds of subscribers from the UK, and further afield: ustralia, USA, France, Estonia, Belgium, Thailand and Brazil. Our A submissions have an international flavour too, with many coming from the USA and Canada, as well as from India, Greece, Poland and Lebanon. This year we circulated 4000 issues of The Reader magazine.


in numbers 3,800: The Reader Online had over 3,800 views in one day in June 2011 when the Huffington Post USA site linked to one of our Fact of the Week posts 170,000 views of The Reader Online throughout the year, hitting a record high in Mar 2012 with over 16,000 views that month 3,258 Twitter followers at the end of the year 446 Facebook likes at the end of the year features The Evening Read-In: A Christmas Carol by Dickens (Nov-Dec 2011) and The Metamorphosis by Kafka (Mar-Apr 2012). This wide-scale shared reading experience utilised our social media channels to bring the shared reading of classic literature online. Sections of a classic story read by one of our staff team were posted on The Reader Online at the same time each week over a series of weeks. Alongside this, an interactive discussion about the story as it unfolded took place through Twitter (hashtag: #eveningreadin). Recommended Reads: One of the most popular features on the blog, these short reviews are written by our staff and volunteers about a book they think other people should read. It might be something enjoyable, moving, or even challenging. Amongst the varied recommendations have been One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, and Ten Sorry Tales by Mick Jackson.


Our People
Our staff have been central to The Reader Organisations success over the past year, not just for their dedication and professionalism but for the over-and-above: community fundraising, events for Get Into Reading group members, and so much more. staff GET INTO READING
Scotland Patrick Fisher, Young Persons Project Worker Gill Stanyard, Project Worker Northern Ireland Dr. Patricia Canning, Project Worker North East Charles Darby-Villis, Reader-in-Residence, HMP Low Newton Wigan and Greater Manchester Rachel Coleman, Project Worker Val Hannan, Wigan Project Manager Kim Haygarth, Project Worker, Criminal Justice DamianTaylor, Reader-in-Residence, Greater Manchester West NHS


David Cookson, Reader-in-Residence, Liverpool Hope University Dr. Clare Ellis, Project Worker Anna Fleming, Young Persons Project Worker Emma Gibbons, Project Worker/Older Peoples Project Manager Christine Harland, Project Worker Beverley La Roc, Project Worker Eleanor McCann, Reader-in-Residence, Mersey Care NHS Trust Emma McGordon, Project Worker Eleanor Stanton, Project Manager Charlotte Weber, Reader-in-Residence, Liverpool Hope University


Eamee Boden, Get Into Reading Apprentice Amanda Boston, Project Worker Victoria Clarke, Project Worker Hazel Davies, Project Worker Lynn Elsdon, Young Persons Project Worker


Marianne Kelly, Project Worker Kate McDonnell, Project Manager Alexis McNay, Project Worker Rachel Salmon, Project Worker Helen Wilson, Project Worker


Megg Hewlett, Project Worker Paul Higgins, Project Worker Patricia Lawrence, Project Worker Penny Markell, Project Manager Valerie Nobbs, Project Worker Lois Walters, Project Worker

South West

Caroline Adams, Project Worker Sarah Hopkins, Project Manager Emily Lezzeri, Project Worker Liz McGaw, Project Worker Sally Sweeney, Project Worker



Amanda Brown, North West Coordinator/Criminal Justice Projects Manager Michelle Barrett, Receptionist Mike Butler, Communications Intern Lizzie Cain, Communications Assistant Chris Catterall, Deputy Director/National Development Manager Katie Clark, Older Peoples Project Manager Sarah Coley, Deputy Editor, The Reader Dr. Jane Davis MBE, Director Sara Day, Community Administrator Apprentice Casi Dylan, Training Manager Aaron Eastwood, Communications Intern (PR and Publicity) Natalie Evans, Research Assistant/Project Worker Niall Gibney, Community Development Assistant Zoe Gilling, Business Manager George Hawkins, Communications Intern (PR and Publicity) Christine Johnson, Volunteer Manager Lee Keating, IT and Office Administrator Maura Kennedy, Events and Publications Manager Anthony McCall, Accountant Michael McGrath, Communications Intern (Events and Publications) Anna McCracken, Volunteer Manager Marian Murray, Apprentice Administrator Ellen Perry, Arts Admin Intern Sophie Povey, Assistant Development Manager Jessica Reeves, Training Coordinator Susan Rutherford, Business Capacity Manager Samantha Shipman, Young Persons Project Manager Claire Speer, Communications Assistant Lisa Spurgin, Online Communications Apprentice Mark Till, Training Administrator Jennifer Tomkins, Communications Manager Helen Vaughan, Conference Administrator Mary Weston, Mental Health Projects Manager

Jo Burns, Founder and Senior Associate, BOP Consulting Sue Charteris, Strategic Adviser, Leadership and Public Policy (Chair from Sept 2011) Professor Philip Davis, Director, Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (stepped down September 2011, now ex-oficio) Brian Denton, Management Accountant Kathy Doran, Chief Executive, NHS Wirral (appointed September 2011) Lindsey Dyer, Director of Service Users and Carers, Mersey NHS Care Trust (Vice Chair), John Flamson, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation, University of Liverpool


Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive, Local Solutions Rosemary Hawley MBE (Chair until September 2011) Lawrence Holden (appointed September 2011) Dr Shyamal Mukherjee MBE, Medical Director, NHS Wirral Roger Phillips, Broadcaster, BBC Radio Merseyside Dr Gillian Rudd (stepped down April 2011) Susan Rutherford (stepped down February 2012)

David Almond A S Byatt Frank Cottrell Boyce Howard Jacobson Erwin James Brian Keenan Anna Lawrence Pietroni Blake Morrison Andrew Motion Lemn Sissay Jeanette Winterson

Wed like to say thanks to everybody who commissioned our work, mentioned in the body of this report, and also to those funders mentioned below: Arts Council of England Big Lottery Fund Culture Liverpool Funding Drapers Charitable Trust Esmee Fairbairn Foundation JP Getty Junior Charitable Trust Jewish Care John Ellerman Foundation Liverpool Vision Paul Hamlyn Foundation South London & Maudsley Charitable Funds The Cornwall Charitable Trust The Headley Trust The Pilgrims Trust The Rayne Foundation The Trusthouse Charitable Trust The Tudor Trust The Westminster Foundation University of Liverpool W G Edwards Charitable Foundation


End of Year Accounts

Our total income increased from 1,058,462 to 1,297,300, a 22.6% rise from 2010/11. This increase is due to attracting new commissions, securing a high number of re-commissions, and awards from new and existing charitable funders. The spread of income across a range of sources (see pie chart opposite) is enabling us to grow sustainably.

d Statement of Financial Activities d icte icte str str for the year ended 31st March 2012 unre re

12 20 tal to

11 20 tal to

incoMinG resources Incoming resources from generated funds: Voluntary income Investment income Incoming resources from charitable activities Total incoming resources resources expenDeD Charitable expenditure: Charitable activities Governance costs Total resources expended

16,744 289


27,994 289

114,908 226 943,328

217,436 1,051,581 1,269,017

234,469 1,062,831 1,297,300 1,058,462

172,799 1,089,381 1,262,180 1,028,865 4,800 4,800 4,620 177,599 1,089,381 1,266,980 1,033,485

net incoMinG resources For the year Accumulated funds brought forward accuMulateD FunDs carrieD ForwarD

56,870 238,445 295,315

(26,550) 53,100 26,550

30,320 291,545 321,865

24,977 266,568 291,545


1% 1% 11% 2%

Type of Income

41% Charitable Grants
Other Income

Balance Sheet at 31st March 2012

Fixed assets Tangible assets Current assets Debtors Cash at bank Creditors Amounts falling due within one year Net current assets Net assets FunDs Unrestricted funds General funds Restricted funds total FunDs

24,770 267,292 585,208 852,500 555,405 297,095 321,865

8,016 119,089 547,171 666,260 382,731 283,529 291,545

295,315 26,550 321,865

238,445 53,100 291,545


independent auditors statement to tHe trustees of tHe reader orGanisation We have examined the summarised financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2012 set out on pages 54 and 55. Respective responsibilities of the trustees and the auditor The trustees are responsible for preparing the summarised financial statements in accordance with applicable United Kingdom law and the recommendations of the Charities SORP. Our responsibility is to report to you our opinion on the consistency of the summarised financial statements with the full annual financial statements and the Trustees Annual Report. We also read other information contained in the summarised annual report and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the summarised financial statements. We conducted our work in accordance with Bulletin 2008/3 issued by the Auditing Practices Board. Opinion In our opinion the summarised financial statements are consistent with the full annual financial statements and the Trustees Annual Report of The Reader Organisation for the year ended 31st March 2012. Mitchell Charlesworth Chartered Accountants Statutory Auditor 5 Temple Square Temple Street Liverpool L2 5RH

These accounts were approved by the trustees and authorised for issue on 27th September 2012 and signed on their behalf by:

Sue Charteris Chair

Company Registration Number: 06607389 Charity number: 1126806 (Scotland: 043054)



write to us at:The Friary Centre, Bute Street, Liverpool, L5 3LA call us on: 0151 207 7207 email us: find us online:
Charity number: 1126806 (Scotland: 043054)