Photo courtesy of The Reader
Shared Reading groups bring people together through great literature to talk, laugh and share. We have serious conversation and good fun. Just drop in and enjoy listening to a story or poem – there's no homework, and no pressure to read or talk.
We need volunteers!
“By the sudden draft of cool air,
It could be, a door has opened
Somewhere in the evening quiet.
Someone hesitates on the threshold
With a faint smile
Of a happy premonition.”
(from My Friend Someone, by Charles Simic. Read the whole poem here.)
Could you be that special someone we are looking for?
Would you like to meet new people, make a difference in your local community and indulge your love of literature? Volunteering with LSR as a shared reading group leader can offer all of this, together with inspiring training and the chance to be a member of a supportive and friendly team across Leicestershire.
We have a variety of opportunities available immediately:
Someone to join our team in NW Leicestershire supporting both our new group on Monday mornings in Ashby Library and our long-standing group on Tuesday afternoons in Coalville Library.
Someone to help with our Loughborough group, which currently runs on Zoom on Tuesday afternoons, but which may at some point return to the Library.
Someone to join one or both of the teams running our Zoom-based groups on Wednesday evenings and Thursday afternoons.
Someone to help re-launch the group in Blaby Library that has been dormant since before the pandemic. We would love to bring it back to life.
Someone to join our Hinckley team and help to run the popular Tuesday morning group in Hinckley Library.
You will be someone who enjoys reading for pleasure, is confident reading out loud and likes to meet new people and make connections - with people and their stories, and with literature. Before you apply for the role we would like you to attend a group (it doesn’t matter which) for a few weeks so you can develop a full understanding of what we do and what is required of our group leaders.
You can find more details of the volunteer role here. If you would like an informal chat, feel free to give one of us a call, or go along to your local group and talk to the leader. A couple of our volunteers have written about what it's like to be a volunteer - read their stories here.
Click here to see the details for all our groups: there is no need to book for the library-based groups, you can just drop in, but if you would like to come to a Zoom-based group we will need to send you an invitation and link.
Stuck at home, isolating?
Don't worry - you can still enjoy shared reading, without leaving your favourite sofa. We have online groups meeting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - click here for details, and contact us for an invitation. If you'd like to find out more about shared reading on Zoom, here's a link to a video with some snippets from a session of our Thursday afternoon group. We read and discuss a story called "The Massive Rat" by David Mitchell (courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.) and the poem "Since there's no help" by Michael Drayton.
"What I love about shared reading groups is that everyone is welcome and everyone is valued, reading sessions are accessible to all and are non-judgmental. The story or poem is always kept at the centre of the discussion, which enables the group to get the most out of it."
Helena, volunteer group leader
Ashby: our newest group
Do you live in NW Leicestershire? We recently launched a shared reading group in Ashby-de-la-Zouch Library, and you would be very welcome to join us there. We meet every Monday morning, from 10.30am till noon. What better way to start the week?
As with all our library-based groups there is no need to book - you can just turn up on the day, and you will be given a warm welcome.
We are also looking for a new volunteer to help our existing volunteers, Kay and Terri, run both this group and the one at Coalville Library, which takes place on Tuesday afternoons. See above for more information on becoming a volunteer.
At the end of last year we launched a justgiving crowdfunding campaign to raise money to go towards the training of new volunteers - see above. It went very well: overall we raised £1294, which will allow us to train two new volunteers and have some to spare. Thank you to everyone that donated, we really appreciate your help.
READY TO FIND OUT MORE? READ ON...
'Will I enjoy shared reading?'
The value of the shared reading experience to our members has become clearer than ever during the pandemic, when many of them are at home and alone. We have received some lovely feedback about our 'virtual' meetings and WhatsApp chats:
"I am so glad I saw the poster in the library. Joining this group is the best thing I have done for me for years. [It] has made the world of difference to me, even more so in the present circumstances. I just love it. Thank you everyone."
"I think this is a story relevant for these times. The current news is so disturbing we have focus to on our gardens and cooking to stay sane! Thank you again, for organising Shared Reading especially at this strange time. It is so appreciated."
"What a wonderful group of people you are. So many moving experiences that you are able to share with such joy."
"I have very much enjoyed the group & certainly found it a lifeline during the depths of lock down when it was sometimes my only chance to join in a conversation!"
Want to join us?
Our groups are open to everyone, subject to capacity. If you'd like to join one and experience shared reading for yourself, find out about when and where our groups meet here - and if it's a library-based group, there is no need to book. It's free, there's no homework or preparation to do, and no obligation to attend every week.
If you'd like to join one of our Zoom-based groups, you'll need a device and a stable internet connection. Contact us using one of the methods below and we will send you a link.
We look forward to seeing you!