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Shared Reading Project Receives Derbyshire Beacon of Hope Award

By - 02 December 2021 - 18:10pm

Read the latest news from the Shared Reading team!

Derby Book Festival is delighted to announce the Shared Reading Project has received a well-deserved Beacon of Hope Award in recognition of the amazing work the team have done over the past 18 months.

Lyndsey and Jo, the Shared Reading Co-ordinators received the award from Liz Fothergill, Derbyshire Lord-Lieutenant and Chair of Derby Book Festival. The Derbyshire Beacon of Hope is dedicated to those within the community who have worked to keep communities safe and businesses moving forward during the pandemic.

Prior to the health crisis, the Shared Reading Project offered face-to-face group sessions at venues across Derbyshire. But with lockdown restrictions and social distancing, this became impossible.

While the in-person sessions were quickly changed to online-only meetings, the team recognised that many of the people they were supporting did not have access to online devices or software, such as Zoom.

This includes socially isolated individuals and those living in care homes. To overcome the challenges of the pandemic, the co-ordinators reinvented the project, which lead to the project volunteers writing poetry postcards.

To date, the team of volunteers have sent over 4000 poetry postcards to people in the community, and in partnership with Air Arts to patients across local hospital sites.

Volunteers have also been putting Pop up Poems in the city’s parks to bring books to the community. With the situation gradually changing, the Shared Reading Project is now offering a hybrid of in-person and online sessions to increase its reach and help those in the community maintain their well-being.

To find out more about Shared Reading, email the team at: shared.reading@derbybookfestival.co.uk

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