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The Reader


About Us
The Reader brings books to life. We create vital
connections between people and literature through
which everyone can feel more alive.
Our unique Shared Reading model reaches across all
ages, demographics and settings because it helps people
connect with a better understanding of themselves and
others, which enables them to realise the changes they
want to make.
Shared Reading takes place in small groups. A great story
or poem is read aloud. We stop and talk about what we
have read. There is no need for group members to read
aloud, speak or even stay awake the idea is to create a
place where people feel at home. Groups are open to all
ages, educational backgrounds and abilities, and are free
to attend.
We work across what seem to be widely diverse areas
of life. How can the same thing help in a mental-health
ward and with two-year-olds in a private day nursery?
Or in a high-security prison and a dementia care home?
What connects these places are the people in them and
the human experiences those people share. Reading
aloud gives all sorts of people access to literature;
literature gives people access to powerful language,
to thoughts and feelings about what it is to be human.
By experiencing these complex meanings with others,
people can start to (re)build a better understanding of
themselves and the world.

2 Introduction by Jane Davis
4 The Reader in Health
9 The Reader with Young People
12 Criminal Justice
22 Funders & Commisioners
23Trustees; Patrons

Inside books there

is perfect space
and it is that space
which allows the
reader to deal
with the normal
problems of gravity
Jeanette Winterson

A Vintage Year
In April 2014, The Readers National Head Office was still located in The Friary in Bute
Street, Everton. A small advance party of core Reader staff was working in Calderstones
Mansion House, in Calderstones Park, South Liverpool, prior to our wholesale move
there, testing shared reading and other activities, opening the Reader Caf, and, aided
by our pro-bono legal team at Hogan Lovells, working on the lease negotiations with
Liverpool City Council. We knew we were about to move into a new phase of life,
though a theoretical imagining of that is a very different thing to living through it. What a
year we had!
We signed the 125-year lease on the Mansion on 9 September 2014 and began work
on the development programme immediately. In October, we secured investment from
Social Investment Business for our first capital project, The Storybarn: the development of
the semi-derelict barn as an interactive reading-based imagination space. Work is being
completed as I write.
The drilling, hammering and sawing were not limited to Calderstones building works. Two
key pieces of Reader organisational development took place during the year: a new
strategic plan to help define our ambitions, and a written set of values to help define and
secure our unique and precious ethos.

Strategic Plan
The new strategic aim was to make shared reading mainstream in the UK by 2020. To
achieve this, we would organise our work into the following streams:

Consolidate make sure our foundations are solid, our narratives and values are
clear, understand our own ideas of quality practice, and have good governance
Grow embed shared reading in the Health and Wellbeing sector through
development of staff, volunteer-led and train-the-trainer models
Create model a shared reading community at Calderstones Mansion House and
continue to develop new models in other sectors such as education and the workplace
Influence we want to spread the idea of shared reading as widely and as deeply as
Build we need a strong flexible organisation and will continue to develop our
people, information and business systems

We worked hard across the entire organisation to come up with a set of values we felt
expressed our ethos. These values have been in use every day, from helping us work out
how to run the Reader Caf to improving our recruitment processes, and developing
our internal understanding of quality. Many thanks to Scott Lynch, who led the Values
project as a pro-bono consultant.
Picking highlights is hard in a vintage year like this, because so much has happened both
near at hand and around the country but it has been a real pleasure for me to look back
at what we have done.

Oliver Jeffers exhibition to the Mansion in January 2016),

and with Phoenix Futures, which has led to a new thirdsector training and embedding shared reading model. We
explored the potential for joint-working with The Reading
Agency, as well as working with National Literacy Trust and
Save the Children in the Read On Get On coalition. The
end of the financial year saw the beginning of new
relationships with Hackney Learning Trust and the charity
Book Bus.

A lot of wonderful stuff happened in Liverpool City

of Readers, the large-scale reading project I was asked
to develop by the Liverpool Learning Partnership and
City Mayor, Joe Anderson. Our aim? To develop a citywide culture of reading so that no child should leave
primary school unable to read. This gave The Reader an
opportunity to work closely with many schools, and weve
gained from a close partnership with Councillor Lana
Orr, and with Judith Edwards, who developed and led the
magnificent volunteer evaluation team, which has guided
the City of Readers work.

20142015 will remain in our hearts and minds as an

outstanding year in which much infrastructure was built,
thanks to those who believe in what we are doing and
want to do, and a grand new chapter, Calderstones, was
begun. For me, the highlight of the year came when we
hosted a two-week reading holiday for children in care
of the local authority at the Mansion. Sitting in the park
each morning, singing together, having our toast and fruit
dressed in gorilla and other costumes, and sharing our
love of reading with children for whom that love was a
new and somewhat foreign experience was a joy and a
privilege. Watching a teenage boy who began his stay by
drawing a picture of a gun shooting a book end it by asking
to become a reader volunteer was a more than satisfying
end to the fortnight. Were working now to develop a
programme for reading and volunteering for UK children
who might enjoy it. Watch this space.

We had major work in North Wales (Big Lottery volunteer

project) and South London (Guys and St Thomas and
SLAM community reading groups), ongoing work in the
South West and North East, as well as a pilot in prisons
and other secure settings across the country. You will
read about this work elsewhere in this report but Id like
to thank everyone who has helped spread The Reader
message. Its a terrific feeling to go into a care home
in Barnet, a prison in Durham, a library in Devon or a
community centre in Antwerp and to experience quality
shared reading in all of them, and to know that people in
locations across the UK (and Europe) are enjoying good
company and meaning-making on their own home turf.
Shared reading groups spread the word on the ground,
but we also need to influence in other ways. Please look at
pages 19 and 20 to see details of our national conference,
events and publications. One particular event stands out
because it was so different to anything I ever thought
I might do. In March, we held the very stylish Meet the
Reader Party at the home of one of our longstanding
supporters, Lynn Glyn, a glittering occasion at which
our patron Howard Jacobson, in a funny and serious
conversation, spoke of the power of reading, while partygoers enjoyed the best canaps ever. Many thanks to Lynn
and Stuart Glyn for their hospitality and friendship.

I want to end this introduction by thanking colleagues and

fellow readers both in and outside of T
he Reader who
work so hard and with such lively enthusiasm to make
shared reading part of the fabric of national life. Sometimes
it is hard to look up and have a sense of whats been done.
Writing this introduction to the Annual Report gives me a
chance to do just that, and I look back on the years work
with some amazement, with a sense of achievement and
with gratitude that I have the opportunity to do this great
job alongside so many good people.
Thank you, readers.

The continued support of longstanding friends is vital

to our plans but it is a special pleasure to start new
partnerships. During 20142015, we began to develop
corporate relationships with Prinovis, Lenovo and Halo.
We were delighted to develop new relationships with
Discover Story Centre (which will lead to the visit of their

Jane Davis
Founder and Director

The Reader in Health

This year, our staff and volunteers have continued to bring the benefits of shared
reading to people experiencing health problems in a variety of service settings
and geographical locations across the country. Our longstanding partnerships with

The reading group says

Yes, you can come here. You
can be part of society

mental health trusts have gone from strength to strength and 2014 has seen the
start of exciting new projects.

Shared reading is truly beginning to change the face of

mental health services.
We have maintained our work with our longest standing mental health partner,
Mersey Care NHS Trust, to deliver a range of shared reading sessions in both
inpatient and community services across Liverpool and Southport, and we have
developed and delivered a range of shared reading inspired courses in the Trusts
Recovery College. Our ongoing work with Greater Manchester West Mental
Health Trust and 5 Borough Partnership Trust in the North West has seen the
development of shared reading recovery pathways in these geographies. Together,
we have set up shared reading provision in the community as well as within inpatient
services so that, upon leaving hospital, people can experience shared reading closer
to home and thus be able to build social networks and keep well. In London, we
read one-to-one and in group settings with the patients of Broadmoor hospital and
within many other secure wards across West London Mental Health Trusts area.
Informed by our work at Broadmoor, an article published in the Journal of Mental

This is Anna speaking. She is a woman in her late 50s who has been
attending a shared reading group in Birkenhead for nearly ten years. Life
has not always been kind to her. She admits that she isolated herself
because she was taking care of her uncle and has suffered from
depression. Last year her daughter died. She continues to look after her
Depression is a flat feeling, everything is on one level. That flat feeling
goes away when I am here and were reading poems and stories
together. We might be crying or laughing but that flat feeling isnt there. I
used to be a very quiet and reserved person. But the reading group has
brought me out of myself. Its taken ten years for me to do but I can put
in an input now. I can give my opinions. When I read out loud someones
listening to me. By being in the reading group I exist as a person. There
has been a different Anna, but now Ive got opinions and I interrupt.
Anna is a volunteer at Central Park in Birkenhead and often shares the
poems we read with one of her fellow volunteers. She attends two of our
reading groups now and is a thoughtful, articulate and caring reader. She is
also an enthusiastic advocate for shared reading: The reading group says
yes, you can come here. You can be part of society.

Health Nursing attested to the confidence and social inclusion benefits for shared
reading participants in a high security setting.

We view the offer of a

shared reading group
as a key addition
to our recovery model
Andy McDermott,
Strategic Lead for Criminal Justice Services,
Greater Manchester West Mental Health
NHS Foundation Trust

We have a new Reader in Residence working within Sheffield Health and Social Care
Trust. Our exciting new project based within Oxford Health Trust has been set up to
research the impact shared reading has on suicidality. Preliminary research findings from
this project demonstrate impressive results: group members report that taking part in
shared reading not only improves their own wellbeing but allows them to contribute
positively to the wellbeing of others.

My engagement
with the group
has been more
sustained and more
beneficial than
any contact with
Community Mental
Health Services
over the same two
year period.
Plymouth Central Library
Feel Better With a Book group

I have hardly any experience of working in

dementia settings its never been part of my
projects. But over the last 2 weeks Ive visited
one of the Barnet projects dementia care homes,
where a group has been running for some time.
Last Monday I was a supportive observer (I
hope) to Pat, a staff member, and I was fascinated
to see how she gently encouraged them to stay
awake (!), read aloud, and share their responses.
One group member Harry (not his real name),
barely spoke often seeming to be asleep,
though he did read one of the poems out. At the
end of the group he asked me: What should I do
with my life? I felt very sad at his sense that there
was nothing to do with it, and the repeated asking
of that same question suggested that it worried
him a lot. Pat told me that Harry used to talk
more and made great contributions, but has been
getting less well, speaking less, sleeping more.

The next week, I was leading the session and

began with The Lake Isle of Innisfree by Yeats.
Some of the group knew it well, and were
willing to read it and talk, but just as I felt we
were running out of steam and had suggested a
final reading, Harry began to speak. He talked
about how he had been feeling for some time
that his world was small and narrow, but that this
poem made him feel that the world was huge,
with lots of branches and possibilities to
explore. And as he said it he sat up a bit
straighter, and moved his arms out along those
imagined branches. It felt like a huge privilege to
be there, and gave me a small sense of the
challenges and rewards of this work.

Dementia reading group cover, Barnet


The Reader has

developed an
incredible project
for us that has
changed the lives
of many people in
Wiltshire living with
dementia and those
who care for them. I
have seen for myself
how people with
little remaining
language use facial
expressions to
engage with the
stories. Ive also
heard people who
were unable to make
simple decisions
about refreshments
recite word perfectly
poems from their
childhood and
recall lost memories
with joy and

Rebecca Bolton,
Outreach Services Manager,
Wiltshire Libraries

Across the UK in our primary hubs of

Liverpool, Wirral, the South West and London, and
also in Leicestershire, Sheffield, Halton and Knowsley
we have brought shared reading to hundreds
of people living with dementia, and their carers,
this year. 2014 also saw the publication of Read to
Care An Investigation into Quality of Life Benefits of
Shared Reading Groups for People Living with Dementia,
a report completed by our research partner the
Centre for Reading, Literature and Society at the
University of Liverpool. The investigation found that
shared reading significantly improves the quality of life
for people living with dementia.

The Reader with

Young People

Evaluation of shared reading groups for people with

dementia reveals:

86% show improved mood during the session

76% have improved mood after the session
87% show improved concentration during the


73% have improved concentration after the


86% show decreased agitation during the session

84% have decreased agitation after the session
In the year ahead, we will build on these
achievements, working with health providers and
other partners across the UK to continue to support
more people to live well with dementia.

The Readers work with young people has seen significant commissions this year, with new commissions in early years,
working with vulnerable 816-year-olds and with funding for a prestigious research project in parental engagement as well as
our ongoing work in Liverpool primary and secondary schools.
The Sutton Trust Parental Engagement Fund has granted us an award to explore the effectiveness of a term-long
intervention aimed at building parental confidence and skills in sharing stories with their own children in order to foster
childrens cognitive and language development.

Most programmes that support parents of preschool children focus on effective ways to engage
children in story reading or in conversations about
daily activities such as matching socks or making
a shopping list. The Reader adds a new dimension
to parental engagement with its focus on the adults
response to books or poems. It considers parents as
educators of their own children BUT ALSO as readers
in their own right, with strong thoughts and feelings
about texts. It is this two-level approach that makes
the parent groups led by The Reader innovative and
worthy of further study.
Professor Kathy Sylva, Oxford University

This work will build upon the learning from our work in
Liverpools Private, Voluntary and Independent Nursery
sector, where since January 2015 five of our staff have
been sharing stories with two-year-olds and their parents
in thirty-eight settings across the city. The government
funds free nursery places for two-year-olds whose parents
are in receipt of benefits and it is these children we have
been working with. We have also created a new training
programme aimed at building the skills of pre-school staff
Sharing Stories in the Early Years, as research shows that
sharing stories interactively, talking about the story together
with a focus on fun, is highly effective in promoting early
language development.

February 2015 saw Liverpool City Council confirm a

commission benefiting vulnerable and Looked After
Children across the city, which should enable us to work
with 500 families over a three-year period. This innovative
project will harness the power of volunteers, working
closely with our volunteer co-ordination team, reading oneto-one with children from eight to sixteen for six months
and then moving on to one of five shared reading groups
across the city.
Children in Need awarded us a grant in February to work
with Looked After Children on the Wirral; the project
will fund a part-time volunteer co-ordinator working with
twenty volunteers, and reading with forty children per year
for three years from September 2015.

The Reader is also continuing to build the evidence base for our work with children. Patrick Fisher, who ran
reading groups in three Scottish schools in a highly-deprived area of Glasgow (work funded by the Tudor Trust)
until August 2014, used the British Picture Vocabulary Scale to assess changes in childrens receptive vocabulary
after attending a weekly reading group for six months. The results are startling and important as vocabulary is
key to reading, writing and to basic self-expression.

Alan, along with twenty other year 3 and 4 pupils, attended the first
shared reading session which we ran at a local primary school as
part of the Reading Revolutionaries Roadshow. As the group were
new to the training course and shared reading model, we explained
that if students felt too shy or anxious to ask any questions out
loud, they could write their questions on a Post It note, which we
would address and respond to after the morning break.
We read Oh No George! by Chris Haughton and a lively discussion
ensued with lots of the pupils relaying stories about their naughty
pets. The group were totally engrossed and all participated in
shouting out OH NO GEORGE!
One group member said: Its hard when youre told not to
do something though, because it makes you want to do it even
more. Like George I bet he wasnt even thinking about eating
the cake or the playing in the mud, but as soon as hes told to be
good! theyre his first thoughts. Im like that too like George
as soon as Im told I cant thats when I want.

Liverpool City of Readers has continued to build a culture of reading for pleasure in schools across the city,
delivering our innovative Reading Revolutionary Training to an additional fifteen schools in 2014 reaching 600
children in all. Reading Revolutionaries are older children who read with younger children in their school or in
partner schools, inspiring a love of reading in younger pupils and building confidence and leadership skills in the
Revolutionaries. We also worked intensively in sixteen schools who had a reader in residence for a term, one
day a week.


After we finished reading, Alan, who had been mostly quiet for the
session, approached me and admitted that he had made a mistake
with his question on his Post It note and needed to fix it. We went
through the notes until we found his Post It, which read I dont read
anything. He took his note and came up to me around ten minutes
later with a new submission which read Did George go in the bin
or not? Would George be good next time or not?
In one twenty-minute shared reading session Alan had transformed
from a self-defined non reader to an inquisitive and interested
literary thinker.

Criminal Justice
Our flagship CJ project, funded by the PD team, DH/NOMS, provided spectacular
evidence of the way in which shared reading can bring about change. This year has
been the culmination of our twenty-seven-month project in the Psychologically
Informed Planned Environments (PIPEs) and across the whole prison populations
of HMP Frankland and HMP Low Newton and in the PIPEs at HMP Hull, HMP
Gartree, HMP Send, Kirk Lodge AP and Stafford House AP.
Our evaluation shows the outcomes of this work for offenders, ex-offenders and
for the staff who participate and are trained to lead groups themselves.

It is a good group to
be a part of because
it helps me to get to
know people and their
views on a story/poem,
helps relax me and
helps me to re-think
how I act and feel.
Shared Reading Group
member, Kirk lodge

In our survey:


of Shared Reading group members in PIPEs said they enjoyed reading

aloud myself or found it helpful. In the follow-up survey, 50% of scores had

When asked to tell us about the changes they had

observed, PIPEs staff said:

45% of group members had shown improvement

Shared Reading
is integral to
sentence planning.
There are other
that are more
peripheral but
Shared Reading
addresses risk
related behaviours
and developments
in behaviours will
be noted. Its part
of risk reduction.

in their access of and progression through services

since joining a Shared Reading group

When youre reading

slowly, you get into the
bigger thing.
Shared Reading group member,
HMP Low Newton

48% of group members had shown improvement

in understanding of own behaviour, risk factors
and the implementation of effective management
strategies since joining a Shared Reading group

48% of group members had shown improvement

in their openness to future non-offending and
aspiration since joining a Shared Reading group

79% of Shared Reading group members in PIPEs said they enjoyed Listening to
what other people say about the things we read or found it helpful. In the followup survey, 27% of scores had improved

80% of Shared Reading group members in PIPEs said they enjoyed Working
together in the group to get a better understanding of things we read or found it
helpful. In the follow-up survey, 30% of scores had improved

Clinical Lead,
Westgate, HMP Frankland


HMP Hull PIPE Group

One Monday at HMP Hull PIPE we held a whole wing tea party to
celebrate two years of shared reading here. The promised iced, bookshaped cake did not alas appear (prison bureaucracy of course but
we did get gateaux). However, that disappointment was more than
made up for by Js beautiful reading of a poem (Chauvinist by
Norman MacCaig) and also by a moving speech given by Will (not
his real name) who has been part of the group since we began. Two
years ago I would not have believed that Will could or would write
a speech like this much less that he would have the confidence to
read it out to all his wing peers, staff and visitors. I have to admit to
a bit of welling-up as I listened. I have reproduced it here verbatim.
Something as heartfelt as this needs no smartening up.

For staff who participate in the groups, apart from the personal
self-development in terms of skills and confidence that results, the
main advantage comes from interacting with offenders as equal
group members not as individuals in rigid hierarchical relationships.
New insight into the offenders personalities, histories and
motivations encourages more understanding of the pathways they
need to follow to increase the probability of desisting from crime.
This improved understanding combines with a different avenue
of communication to enhance relationships between staff and

When youre actually reading aloud in front

of them, and theyre seeing you do it, that
straightaway drops the barriers down. When
I started I wasnt the strongest of readers; Ive
gained confidence over time and when they
see that they think, If hes quite prepared to
take that, I want to have a go, do it as well, and
it builds their confidence.
PIPEs Prison Officer, HMP Frankland
Shared reading groups have also continued at HMP Hindley,
funded by GMWNHS Trust; HMP Durham, funded by the
Learning, Skills & Employment Activity Unit at HMP Durham; and
HMP Wormwood Scrubs, funded by CLCH Trust. Delivery began
this year at HMP Brixton as part of our South London project.


am I

Its two years since the readers group first STARTED HERE at Hull.
And because Im the longest attender I was asked to do a little talk.
I remember being asked by a lad who went to the readers group.
Would I go with him. Has at this stage there was only him there
(THOSE days it was during Assoistion Friday afternoons when it took
place). Anyway I went, Before long we were reading a short story
together. And was asked would we like to read out loud. Im glad
there was only three of us Because this sort of thing was a big thing
to me I remember reading, But having No Idea what I had just read.
I expierance every known Panic fear you Could Imagine. Then we
all had a bit of a talk about what we had all just read. Cheryl would
asked Questions And I was InTrEd by this. My whole life was about
Avoiding things, hiding, Ill sort it out. Who do you think they are. I
know best. Fuss of anykind was the last thing I wanted. The more I
went on these groups the more hooked I became. Over a period of
time I began to get a better understanding of myself. I would always
reflect on these short storys and out talks Where am I right now I
would ask myself. I began to believe in myself and carry a
conversation with others I began to realize I was now on a level pegging and I felt comfortable within myself which in itself gave me confidence. Now I was enjoying myself. The group is well attended these
days. We talk many many topics Familys, Prison, Suffering and many
more. But to me its being a part of these groups. Hearing
others Peoples views and opinions which makes it all the more
Interesting and Worth While. To me For me personally Im thankfull
Im on this unit and Im able to challenge myself in areas Ive just
spoken to you all about. The sort of life I was living outside. There was
no way I would be given a opportunity Like this. And even a my age
Ive took full advantage of it. If anyone is feeling its not for me this
take another Look, give yourself another chance. You may surprise



Social Investment Business is one of the UKs largest social investors and has made over 1300 investments in civil society
organisations ranging from under 5,000 to almost 7 million since 2002. The Readers relationship with SIB began in 2013,
when SIB supported the early development of The Reader at Calderstones with a 61,200 Feasibility Grant. This support
paid for some of the early development work, such as Business Planning and Architects work, which was instrumental to
The Reader signing the 125-year lease on The Mansion House and estate in September 2014.

In September, we signed the lease for Calderstones Mansion

and officially moved our head office to the Grade II listed
building which needs a lot of love and restoration. Being The
Reader we didnt wait until it was restored to start using it
to reach more and more people.
We run nine reading groups with over 100 readers in our
community. Group members may be local to the park but
several make long journeys to get to us, the furthest coming
from Manchester. Group members range from babes in
arms to those over eighty.
We have brought people here as part of our work in the
North West, most notably a summer school as part of
City of Readers. The children were from amongst those
who had been expected to struggle with the transition
from primary to secondary school for one reason or
another. The Mansion hardly seemed big enough over those
two weeks. Thankfully the weather was good and we could
make use of the park. One especially pleasing result is that
while childrens reading scores normally fall back over the
summer holidays, this was not the case for the scores of
children who came to our summer school.
Our businesses at Calderstones are starting to thrive,
providing The Reader with an additional income stream
as well as providing local businesses with office space, dog
walkers with hot coffee on winter mornings, and children
with ice creams.

We are providing more volunteering opportunities at the

Mansion with a team of volunteer receptionists setting a
model for how our community will work. Some are young
people looking to get into work, some are older people
looking to get back into work and some are those who
want to give something back to the community. They are
all now the welcoming face of the Mansion and the friendly
voice if you call our head office phone number. We look
forward to having more volunteers with us as we continue
to widen our scope.
We are currently in the development phase of our HLF
funding which hopefully one day will lead to the restoration
of the Mansion. This phase included a programme of
history-based events, talks and workshops in order to help
us secure the funding needed from the Heritage Lottery
Fund to repair and renovate the building. The events have
worked across generations of park users with many people
having fond memories of parties, receptions and theatre
shows at the Mansion. The level of local community support
has been overwhelming with the feeling that people are
pleased to see their Mansion being brought back to life. This
programme has also offered a great opportunity to increase
public knowledge and awareness of the Calderstones a
Scheduled Ancient Monument and the earliest evidence
of humans making meaning in the area that we now call

Following The Reader signing the lease, and preparing

to move the home of the organisation to Calderstones,
we became increasingly aware of the need for a specific
provision for young people at Calderstones, aimed at
children under 11 and their families and complementary
to our activity at The Mansion House. This thinking
led to The Storybarn, an innovative childrens story
centre, based in the disused barn and stable block at
Calderstones, and using stories to help young people to
explore, share and discover the pleasure and imagination
that comes from books. After a successful application,
in October 2014 SIB awarded The Reader 382,500 to
cover the main capital costs ofThe Storybarn, converting
the Grade II Listed outbuildings into a community
resource that will engage with 20,000 visitors a year, from
across the North West.

As work on The Storybarn developed, it became

apparent that if we were to successfully create a project
of the highest quality, which would be accessible to all,
we would need further investment. This coincided with
SIB launching the Liverpool City Region Impact Fund
(LCRIF), an innovative model of targeted regional social
investment, with Liverpool as the pilot region. Working
closely with SIB we were able to develop a proposal
to complete The Storybarn works, adding crucial
accessibility elements such as a lift, and attractive external
landscaping that will really help bring our stories to life
and to bring together The Storybarn and the outdoor
world of the park. This led to a 70,000 social loan by
SIB, investing into the project, which will be paid back by
The Reader over the coming years.

The grants and investment from SIB have been crucial in making The Storybarn happen
and helping The Reader develop a high quality offer for children and families, unique in
the North West. The Storybarn is due to open in late 2015.

Awards &


Winner of Wiltshire Public Health Award for improving mental health and wellbeing
This award is to recognise the outstanding contribution that one individual, group or organisation has
made to improving health and wellbeing across Wiltshire.
Shortlisted for the RBS SE100 Resilience Award
Each year,The NatWest SE100 Index recognises social enterprises on the Index who have
demonstrated some of the best business practice within the sector. The Reader was shortlisted for
the Resilience Award upon their first entry. The Resilience Award is one for those social ventures that
continually deliver positive social or environmental change and repeatedly achieve impact goals, keeping
focussed on delivering their mission whatever the weather.
Shortlisted for SEUK Womens Champion
The Social Enterprise Awards recognise organisations for their business excellence and contribution to
society, as well as the achievements of people working at the heart of the social enterprise sector. In
2014, a new category was announced and The Reader Founder and Director Dr Jane Davis was among
the first to be shortlisted as the SEUK Womens Champion.
Shortlisted for Arts and Cultural Champion, Powerful Together Awards
This award recognises the achievements of the creative sector in Merseyside supporting communities to
thrive through a range of creative mediums.

To commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One, The Reader
published an anthology of poems showcasing the extraordinary experiences of
ordinary people during the course of war. On Active Service: 19141918 features a
selection of poems that emerged from World War I, chosen and edited by Brian
Nellist, co-editor of The Reader magazine. As well as including familiar names such
as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke, the anthology features
poems by less well-known poets some selections so rare in fact that they required
a considerable effort to be tracked down. Including the work of these poets, the
anthology helps to ensure that the experiences of generations now passed will survive
for years to come, in their own words.
The Reader Magazine continues to be a widely popular publication both in the UK
and internationally offering the whole literary mix: new fiction and poetry, classic and
neglected works, interviews with leading figures in the world of the arts, thoughtpieces, advice for reading groups, research into reading and news from the world of
Our other internationally acclaimed anthologies, A Little Aloud, A Little Aloud for Children,
Minted and Poems to Take Home, also continue to grow in popularity reaching more
readers than ever before.
In 2014, our research partner from the University of Liverpools Centre for Research
into Reading, Literature and Society produced three new publications on key areas of
our work.
An Evaluation of a Literature-Based Intervention for People with Chronic Pain (Billington, J.,
Humphreys, A-L., McDonnell, K., Jones, A., 2014)

Dr Jane Davis shortlisted for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Northern heats)
Runner up in Tackling the Social Determinants of Health, Public Health in the East Midlands:
Celebration and Recognition Event Awards

Cultural Value: Assessing the intrinsic value of The Reader Organisations Shared Reading
Scheme (Davis, P., Billington, J., Corcoran, R., Gonzalez-Diaz, V., Lampropoulou, S.,
Farrington, G., Magee, F.,Walsh, E.,2014)
Read to Care: An Investigation into Quality of Life Benefits of Shared Reading Groups for
People Living with Dementia (2014)

Read to Care

Mentally ill people need hard work it

makes you concentrate on other people
and on the work instead of yourself.

An Investigation into
Quality of Life Benefits
of Shared Reading Groups
for People Living with Dementia

Siobhan Jones



Better with a Book:
Exploring the Relationship between Literature and Mental Health:
The Readers National Conference 2014

Caroline Adams
Meera Bala-Lane
Gillian Bandy
Michelle Barrett
Nicola Bennison
Craig Bentley
Eamee Boden
Amanda Boston
Amanda Brown
Nina Del Carpio
Steffi Camm
Chris Catterall
Sophie Chilvers
Katie Clark
Anthony Clarke
Sophie Clarke
Victoria Clarke
Michael Cloherty
Susan Colbourn
Rachel Coleman
Sarah Coley
Nicola Copeland
Josephine Corcoran
Emma Crago
Emily Crawford
Sarah Dangar
Charles Darby- Villis
Ben Davis
Jane Davis
Carl Dennis
Frances Dryden
Casi Dylan
Leah Edge
Clare Ellis
Lynn Elsdon
Rosie Ernst Trustram
Grace Farrington
Emma Gibbons
Laragh Gillen
Zoe Gilling
Karen Graham
Colette Greggs
Julie Halford
Val Hannan
George Hawkins
Megg Hewlett
Paul Higgins
Vanessa Hogbin
Anthony Horton
Natalie Hughes-Crean
Kate Hughes-Jenkins
Cheryl Hunter
Jennifer Jarman
Zoe Jermy
Alexander Joynes
Joanna Jungius
Lee Keating
Jennifer Kelly
Beverley La Roc
Shaun Lawrence

The conference was held at the British Library for a third time and was well-attended, building
on the success of our previous conferences. Our fifth annual national conference explored how
the unique shared reading model pioneered by The Reader uses literature to improve mental
health, reduce social isolation and enhance quality of life.
Guest speakers included Lord Melvyn Bragg, who spoke about his novel Grace and Mary based
on his mothers experience with dementia and his life as a reader, Baroness Estelle Morris and
Dr Alice Sullivan from the Institute of Education, who discussed the role of reading in schools,
and Nick Benefield, Lord Alan Howarth and Lord David Ramsbotham, examining the effect of
shared reading in secure mental health settings.
We also heard first-hand the personal, inspiring and moving stories from some of our Readers
who shared the effects reading has had on their lives.

The Penny Readings: London

As part of London Literature Festival 2014, The Penny Readings came to Southbank Centre in
London on Sunday 12th October 2014.
Guest readers included our London group members, writer and The Readers patron Erwin
James and Greenpeace activist Frank Hewetson, who read some of the greatest literature on
the topic of freedom and the struggles of human life.

The Secret Garden of Stories:

The Readers Childrens Literature Festival
2014 saw our very first Childrens Literature Festival transform the garden of the Mansion
House at Calderstones into The Secret Garden of Stories. From Thursday 28th to Saturday
30th August, hundreds of people joined us for a host of great literature for children and fun
activities for the whole family including Roald Dahl storytelling sessions, craft workshops, games,
competitions and appearances from very special guest authors Cathy Cassidy, Lydia Monks, Jon
Mayhew and the award-winning Andy Mulligan.

Latitude Festival
Now one of the UKs biggest music and arts festivals, Latitude 2014 marked the 9th Edition of
Latitude festival and was yet again an incredible weekend encompassing a huge selection of carefully
chosen musicians and an extremely varied arts programme.The Reader hosted a number of
Shared Reading sessions throughout the weekend on the years theme: Secrets and Lies.
Other notable events include:
Mental Health in Context with Jeanette Winterson
The Calderstones Summer Fair
Shakespeares Globe Much Ado About Nothing
City of Readers Give us 5 launch
The Reader Caf and Gallery Launch
The Penny Readings Festival 2014
O the mind, mind has mountains: Ad Hoc Creative EXPO


Laura Lewis
Emily Lezzeri
Christopher Lynn
Richard Macdonald
Neil Mahoney
Penny Fosten
Katie McAllister
Anthony McCall
Eleanor McCann
Maggie McCarney
Anna McCracken
Jennifer McDerra
Kate McDonnell
Michael McGrath
Alexis McNay
Selina McNay
Siobhan Mealey
Emma Melling
Gillian Moore
Marian Murray
Valerie Nobbs
Sahera Parveen
Luke Pilkington Jones
George Pinnington
Bethanie Pochin
Laura Saksena
Ruth Scott-Williams
Lisa Spurgin
Madeline Stanford
Katherine Stevenson
Sally Sweeny
Geraldine Tomlinson
Ian Walker
Emma Walsh
Lois Walters
Kate Weston
Mary Weston
Helen Wilson
Jeanette Wooden
Claire Yates
Thomas Young
Susannah Bellis
Anthony Boardman
Min Cao
Zachary Cole
Tina Davis
Mike Doherty
Meryn Fell
Kaley Fisher
Sarah Gannon
Kayleigh Heap
Lisa Kronenburg
Sophie Lewis
Hannah McGowan
Jennifer Peers
Charlotte Robinson
Fiona Shone
Cheryl Tanton
Christine Toh

Core & Charitable


Our revolutionary Get Into
Reading projects across Great Britain
as detailed in the Trustees report are
funded and/or commissioned by the

Big Lottery England

Big Lottery Wales
Liverpool Hope University
Halton Borough Council
Knowsley CCG
Liverpool City Council
Liverpool CCG
Broadgreen International School
Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen
Hospitals NHS Trust
Limbourne Trust
Merseyside Probation Trust
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS
Foundation Trust
Greater Manchester Probation
Greatere Manchester West Mental
Health NHS Foundation Trust
JP Getty Junior Charitable Trust
Alzheimers Society
Mersey Care NHS Trust
The Trusthouse Charitable Trust
Egremont Primary School, Wirral
Woodchurch High School, Wirral
Wirral Alternative Schools

Wirral MBC
Forum Housing
Birkenhead Foundation Years Trust
Development Fund
Inner North West London
Primary Care Trust
Maudsley Charity
The Guys and St. Thomas Charity
Jewish Care
KC Shasha (Jewish Care)
London Borough of Barnet
Central London Community
Healthcare NHS Trust
West London Mental Health NHS
Tri-Borough Library Service
The Tudor Trust
Belfast Health and Social Care
NHS Gloucestershire CCG
Devon Library Service
Leicestershire County Council
Plymouth City Council
Somerset County Council
Wiltshire County Council
Berkshire Healthcare NHS
Sheffield Health and Social Care
Swaleside Pathways Service
CNWL Recovery College
Foundation Trust

Phoenix Futures
NHS England
The Tudor Trust
A B Charitable Trust
The Pilgrims Trust
HMP Durham
HMP Frankland
HMP Hindley
HMP Low Newton
HMP Manchester
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
National Personality Disorder Team
at the Department of Health/
Home Office

The Architectural Heritage Fund
Barbour Foundation
Big Venture Challenge
Clore Duffield
Esmee Fairbairn
Garfield Weston Foundation
Grosvenor Estate
The Headley Trust
Henry Smith Foundation
Liverpool Learning Partnership
Parkhaven Trust
The SIB Group
Social Business Trust
Unwin Trust

Simon Barber, Chief Executive, 5 Boroughs
Giles Brand (joined board October 2014)
Professor Philip Davis, Director, CRILS
Lindsay Dyer
John Flamson
Stephen Hawkins (stepped down October 2014)
Rosemary Hawley, MBE
Lawrence Holden
Dr Shyamal Mukherjee, MBE, Medical Director, NHS
Roger Philips, Broadcaster, BBC Radio Merseyside
Jacqueline Anne Tammenoms Bakker
Zoe Gilling (Secretary, stepped down October
Ruth Scott-Williams (Secretary, joined October
Kathy Doran (Vice Chair)
Susan Rutherford (Chair)

Erwin James
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Blake Morrison
David Almond
A S Byatt
David Constantine
Howard Jacobson
Brian Keenan
Anna Lawrence Pietroni
Sir Andrew Motion
Lemn Sissay MBE
Jeanette Winterson



str ds
u fun

We have examined the summarised financial

statements for the year ended 31 March 2015 set out
on page 25.






Incoming resources from charitable activities

Other incoming resources

43,875 402,069
145,630 2,248,751 2,394,381 1,896,390


Total incoming resources

521,228 2,292,626 2,813,854 2,067,242

Costs of generating funds
Fundraising trading: costs of goods sold


Chartered Accountants
Statutory Auditor
Castle Chambers
43 Castle Street
L2 9SH

Net incoming resources available

379,549 2,292,626 2,672,175 2,067,242

Charitable activites:
Get Into Reading
Literary Learning
Events and Publications
Communication and Development

13,620 2,057,420 2,071,040 1,511,630

8,750 137,656
98,197 223,956 322,153

Total charitable expenditure

285,478 2,292,626 2,578,104 1,992,866

The accounts were approved by the Board

on 19 October 2015

Governance costs

Peter Taaffe FCA CTA DChA (Senior

Statutory Auditor)
For and on behalf of BWMacfarlane

Respective responsibilities of the trustees

and the auditor
The trustees are responsible for preparing the
summarised financial statements in accordance with
applicable United Kingdom law and the
recommendations of the Charities SORP.
Our responsibility is to report to you our opinion on
the consistency of the summarised financial
statements with the full annual financial statements
and the Trustees Annual Report.
We also read other information contained in the
summarised annual report and consider the
implications for our report if we become aware of any
apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies
with the summarised financial statements.

Total resources expended

Net income for the year / Net movement in funds

Kathy Doran

We conducted our work in accordance with Bulletin

2008/3 issued by the Auditing Practices Board.

20 tal

incoming resources from generated funds
Donations and legacies
Activities for generating funds
Investment income

In our opinion the summarised financial statements
are consistent with the full annual financial statements
and the Trustees Annual Report of The Reader
Organisation for the year ended 31 March 2015.



20 tal





436,573 2,292,626 2,729,199 1,998,692




Fund balances at 1 April 2014




Fund balances at 31 March 2015




Company Registration No. 06607389



Fixed assets
Tangible assets
Current assets
Cash at bank and in hand

Creditors: amounts falling due within one year

Volunteering with The Reader was an enormous help getting back

into work. Before volunteering Id given up. Im just enjoying myself
here its become part of my life. Ive noticed weeks I dont come, I
really miss it. It leaves a hole in my life if I dont come. I always really
enjoy the discussion about the poem at the end; its relaxing and its
something else to talk about. Everyone brings something different,
perspectives and memories, to the group. Then you have something
to think about for the rest of the day it takes your mind off the
mundane things. My life is an empty shell without coming.

The statement of
financial activities also
complies with the
requirements for an
income and expenditure account under the
Companies Act 2006.









Net current assets

Total assets less current liabilities





Creditors: amounts falling due after

more than one year


Net assets







Income funds
Unrestricted funds


These accounts have

been prepared in
accordance with the
special provisions relating to small companies
within Part 15 of the
Companies Act 2006
and ith the Financial
Reporting Standard for
Smaller Entities (effective April 2008).

write to us at:
Calderstones Mansion
Calderstones Park
L18 3JB
call us on:
0151 729 2200
email us at:
find us online:
follow us on Twitter:
Company Registration Number:
charity number:
1126806 (Scotland 043054)