At Home with Reading Friends - English and other languages
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SummaryA project to reduce isolation via reading sessions. Sessions are held remotely, usually over the phone.
At Home with Reading Friends started as a project to reduce isolation during the pandemic. However, we have identified there is an ongoing need for this role and so we are making it a part of our main offer.
Volunteer readers sign up to read to a customer who is unable to access a library in person. The reading sessions take place on a weekly basis and can take from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the wishes of the volunteer and the customer. There is a lot of flexibility around when sessions take place and what is read and discussed during them. The aims are to give a person a regular contact to look forward to and a way to share their love of books with another person.
We were initially working with customers with the early stages of dementia but the target audience has now been extended and includes customers with a visual impairment and those who are housebound. We are also looking to extend the range of customers we can reach by working with readers who can make calls in a range of languages including European languages, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. In recruiting a broader range of volunteers it is our hope that we can offer this service to a far wider range of our customers.
The role gives a volunteer the chance to help someone who is in a more isolated position at the present time. The sessions are very rewarding and the content of the sessions is flexible with the reader and listener deciding what they would like to read together.
For learners of a second language who have the fluency to read aloud, it is an ideal way to build their confidence in reading in their second language.
Full training and Support will be given within the role.