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Shared Reading Volunteer Opportunities Announced As Programme Expands

By - 03 February 2022 - 08:11am

Find out more about our Shared Reading volunteer opportunities

Derby Book Festival’s Shared Reading Programme has today announced it is recruiting new volunteers. Individuals who are interested in applying will have the opportunity to support existing groups or run their own sessions.

We are holding a very informal Information Session for New Volunteers, which is taking place on Monday 7 February at 10am on Zoom. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, or want to know more, this is the perfect opportunity. If you enjoy stories and poems, like meeting new people and sharing conversations, Shared Reading could be for you.

The volunteer recruitment drive comes at a time when the community project is expanding and offering new sessions at Libraries across Derby in a bid to reach as many people as possible. Shared Reading, which increases well-being by connecting individuals through spoken word, has been running since 2017.

It is supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and has gone from strength to strength. Last year, it was recognised for its commitment to the community during the pandemic and awarded a Beacon of Hope Award from Derbyshire Lord-Lieutenant and Chair of Derby Book Festival, Elizabeth Fothergill.

Shared Reading sessions bring people together (online via Zoom or in-person) to read aloud poems, short stories, and novels in groups. Participants have the freedom to experience the session however they like - there is no pressure to read aloud.

Volunteers facilitate the groups and ask questions relating to the materials. They provide a safe space for members to share memories, experiences, reflections, or their thoughts on what they have heard.

The role of the new volunteers will be to support existing volunteers at established groups or new groups. The programme is always looking to broaden its reach and connect with individuals in the community who may not otherwise have the opportunity to get involved with Shared Reading.

Those who volunteer can dedicate as much or as little time as they want. Groups are held at set times, either weekly or fortnightly. They are held Monday to Friday at various times and in different locations across Derbyshire or online.

Before Christmas, a successful taster session was held at Mickleover Library and there are plans to hold more in other libraries. Those who are interested in applying but want to learn more about the programme are invited to attend any of the existing Shared Reading sessions.

Email: for more details and the Zoom link for Monday’s informal session.

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