Reading Friends is a national, evidence-based programme, adapted to local needs and communities. It is a reading befriending programme developed by The Reading Agency, delivered in partnership with community organisations, including libraries.
Reading Friends connects people experiencing loneliness and isolation by starting conversations through reading, providing opportunities to meet others, share stories, make new friends, and have fun. It creates social connections and takes a person-centred approach, building on interests and hobbies to get people talking. It is the power of shared stories to spark conversations in groups and one-to-ones, working together with local community organisations and volunteers of all ages to build social connections.
Surrey libraries to roll out the programme
Surrey Libraries has now signed up for the Reading Friends programme. As part of the first phase of rolling out this programme, we are very pleased to confirm that there are now Reading Friends groups available at the following Surrey libraries:
- Egham Library: Chat and Craft Reading Friends Group, every Tuesday (during term time) from 10am until 12 noon.
- Epsom Library: Vision and Print Impaired Reading Friends Group, Thursday once a month.
- Camberley Library: Bring your own book (BYOB) Camberley group, every third Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm.
Interested in joining a Reading Friends group?
You can express an interest in joining one of the above groups by completing our online application form.
Alternatively, all established Reading Friends groups can be found on the Reading Friends webpage, Find Reading Friends near you. Just add your postcode and click GO to show on the map your nearest group.
Interested in becoming a Reading Befriender volunteer?
Initially it will be staff that will set up and host these group sessions. At a later stage, we aim to start recruiting for Reading Befriender volunteers who will take over facilitating these group sessions and possibly extending the idea of visiting people in the community, for example read to people in care homes and hospitals.