We have enabled a range of positive wellbeing outcomes:
- Making connections between people, tackling social isolation and loneliness.
- A sense of purpose – attending an activity gives participants routine and structure.
- Escapism from day-to-day worries, supporting improved mental health.
- Improved partnership working – strengthening connections with social prescribing and libraries, for example.
Here's what some of our participants have said
Ian Kirby, participant from Gateshead, shared his story at the celebration event in February 2023. We are so grateful to Ian for his personal reflection.
Reading for Wellbeing Project Evaluation
Reading for Wellbeing has being independently evaluated by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria. Between Nov 2021 – Nov 2022 a realist evaluation of the project was undertaken led by a study team from the University of Northumbria and Newcastle University.
- The research highlighted the importance of stories in providing a unique opportunity to explore and discuss a wide range of topics and reflect on personal experiences.
- Participation in the project offered a sense of respite to participants who were experiencing emotional hardship linked to life changing events such as bereavement, retirement or caring responsibilities.
- Embracing reading for pleasure within group settings enabled participants to build connections and enhance personal capacities that could improve their wellbeing.
- The skill of the community reading workers was key. Community reading workers facilitate opportunities to enhance reading enjoyment.
- Location of the RfW groups matters. Participants’ perceptions about accessibility of the project are also affected by its location.