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Shared reading for people leaving prison



National reading charity, The Reader, is working with Suffolk Libraries to launch a new kind of Shared Reading community in Suffolk. Through reading aloud together, the charity hopes to transform rehabilitation for local people leaving prison, improve their wellbeing and build a community.

Funded by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), the year-long ‘through the gate’ pilot will see six volunteers trained to lead new Shared Reading groups in three Suffolk Libraries, with 30 local people benefitting from reading aloud together each week.

The Reader has worked in the criminal justice system for over a decade, and today supports Shared Reading in more than 40 prisons and probation hostels across the UK. Shared Reading groups are free, open to all and normally last between an hour and an hour and a half.

The Reader has been reading with offenders since 2009, and we know from research done into this work that it helps them feel more safe and confident in themselves, helps them relate better to other people, and helps them think more about the future.

We know both national and local decision-makers are increasingly trying to build better collaborations to make the transition from prison to the community better – and we believe Shared Reading has a role to play in that.”
Jane Davis, founder and director

Anyone wishing to register interest in training to become a volunteer, joining a group. or partnering in this community collaboration should contact heidihollis@thereader.org.uk


Image courtesy of The Reader