Book Break reading groups in Kensington and Chelsea

This is guest blog post from Liz Ison. She works for The Reader and looks after the Book Break reading groups that run in Kensington and Chelsea . Over to Liz to tell us more…

Do you love stories, poems and great literature?

Would you like to find out what shared reading is?

Did you know that there are many shared reading groups going on in your local neighbourhood running every week?

Meet The Reader, an organisation that is passionate about the power of reading together.
We at The Reader are the pioneers of Shared Reading. The volunteer Reader Leaders who run our weekly groups, bring people together to read great literature aloud.

Groups are open to all, readers and non-readers alike. Come along and listen to stories and poems read aloud. It’s an opportunity to read and talk together in a friendly and relaxing environment. Free refreshments provided!

Our shared reading groups have been running locally for many years bringing shared reading to the residents of Kensington and Chelsea. We work in libraries, community centres and other organisations spreading the joy of shared reading.

Here are what our group members have to say about shared reading:

“I’ve felt really happy since the session with you —bought myself some flowers the next day…and went for a long walk while listening to music— all in one day. Our happy thoughts trigger happy chemicals in our brain.” Aysha

“An anchor during the week”

“It always makes me feel more fulfilled than the other days”

  • 95 % look forward to the group as an important event in the week
  • 84% think the reading session makes them feel better*

Here are some groups to try in our local libraries:

Brompton Library – Tuesday, 10.30am to 12 noon
Chelsea Library – Tuesday, 2.30 to 4pm
Kensington Central Library – Tuesday, 2 to 4pm
North Kensington Library – Thursday, 3 to 5pm
North Kensington Library – Saturday, 10.30am to 12 noon

We look forward to welcoming you to a group soon. To find other shared reading groups in your area you can contact:

Erin at erincarlstrom@thereader.org.uk or call 07483 972 020

Liz at lizison@thereader.org.uk or call 07807 106 815

More information is on the The Reader website too.

And if you’d be interested in volunteering with us, get in touch!

 

* 2017 Reader evaluation data for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shared reading groups

Happy 4th birthday to Book Break!

This is a guest blog post by Megg Hewlett, Project Worker for Get Into Reading London. Over the last four years she has established and run the Book Break reading groups in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Book Break logo
Enjoy a book with a cup of a tea!

It’s four years since the first Book Break shared reading groups began in Kensington and Chelsea. Since then we’ve read with people in many settings including libraries, hospitals, mental health services, schools, alcohol and drug services, community centres and workplaces.

Book Break is delivered by The Reader Organisation, an award-winning social enterprise working to connect people with great literature and each other, in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea libraries. There’s more information about Get Into Reading and The Reader Organisation on their website.

The Reader Organisation's logo
The Reader Organisation’s logo

We create places where personal responses to books are freely shared. Our projects allow us to reach a diverse range of people, readers and non readers, extending the individual experience of literature and building strong mutually supportive communities that read together.

“You need it, you just don’t know you need it.”

Book Break groups are stimulating, friendly and non-pressured. They provide stability, support and enjoyment. All texts are read aloud so anyone can get involved – readers and non readers alike.

Enjoying sharing the same story
Enjoying sharing the same story

Groups are led by trained project workers and volunteers, meeting each week to read books and poems together in locations such as care homes, libraries, prisons, mental health centres, community centres, schools, hostels, refugee centres and workplaces. We read aloud, slowly, taking time over each text, allowing thoughts, connections and understanding to emerge.

“It’s not just about reading or getting to know the story. It’s about having our opinions about things as well.”

Members can choose to join in, or not, and at times the reading will stop to allow some talk about parts of the text, discussing what it might mean, or reflect on similar experiences of their own. The effects are subtle, and profound.

“Sometimes you can see different people having different ideas. You take something one way and someone else might take it a different way, and it makes you think. You respect other people’s opinions.”

A relaxed, friendly atmosphere is created in each group. Over time, people build up a confidence that enables them to tell their own stories, as well as to forge close relationships with fellow readers.

Reading along with the story
Reading along with the story

For some readers, this prompts new aspirations, and the searching out of further learning and support that will help rebuild their lives. For others, their reading group is a lifeline, helping to keep them on a more even keel. For all, it is a regular lift each week.

“It sets me up for the week”

Want to join one of our Book Break groups? Full details of when are where the groups meet can be found on the bibliotherapy page on Kensington and Chelsea libraries’ website. You can also contact me on megghewlett@thereader.org.uk

Megg Hewlett 

Project Worker, Get Into Reading London