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Liverpool Libraries tackle loneliness

Liverpool Libraries tackle loneliness

by Culture Liverpool

Liverpool Libraries have been awarded a £10,000 grant by the national charity, The Reading Agency, to tackle isolation among residents.

The libraries team are working hard to deliver a new shared reading and befriending programme, Reading Friends, using reading to bring people together and support their mental health during these challenging times.

Group sessions will use books, magazines and newspapers to spark conversations and connect people.

While ‘Reading Friends’ usually meet face-to-face in libraries, due to the pandemic, sessions will be delivered via phone and virtually.

The scheme is open to anyone in the city.

If you, or someone you know is lonely/isolated, a friend or family member who might benefit, please, with their permission, contact [email protected] with their details and they’ll get back to the individual to make arrangements to include them in a future session.

Libraries’ Interim Customer Services Manager Denise Jones said:

“We are delighted the Reading Agency has awarded us this money. We are looking forward to introducing ‘Reading Friends’ into our local communities and providing an innovative, fun and engaging way of reducing the loneliness and isolation many may be feeling at the moment. This is not about asking anyone to read, it’s all about giving people opportunities for a friendly chat, to make new connections and to help improve their wellbeing.”

The Reading Agency has also awarded Liverpool Libraries an extra pot of money to expand the ‘Reading Well: Books on Prescription’ scheme.

The money will buy more mental health book collections for libraries, with titles for children, young people and adults, people with dementia and those with long term health conditions.

The new books will be available as e-books and e-audio books to read online, or physical copies which can be ordered through our Order and Collect service.

Topics include:

  • mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy
  • coping with grief, anxiety, depression and stress
  • understanding bullies, body dysmorphia, ADHD, autism, OCD and much more.

To borrow one of the existing Reading Well titles, take a look at the booklists, then check the online library catalogue and Read Liverpool.

For further information

For more on Reading Friends, please visit liverpool.gov.uk/readtalkshare

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