Our partnerships

We are effective through our flexibility. Reading for Wellbeing has established effective partnerships with public health, libraries, the voluntary and community sector and social prescribing across the North East.
Reading for Wellbeing feedback group

We use a range of delivery approaches to target some of the most disadvantaged areas and communities and those experiencing ill health, caring responsibilities and loneliness.

So far, each local authority area has delivered the project with a slightly different approach, targeting different communities and geographical focus. The project is designed to be people centred – never about numbers but about engaging people and developing relationships with people and communities not currently accessing libraries and other mainstream services. We tackle social isolation and use books and conversations about reading to support wider health and wellbeing outcomes.

The local authority areas we have worked with so far have contributed their own funds. Each area has defined their own way of delivering the project, based on their own local needs.

Connecting communities through the pleasure of reading to reduce isolation is such a simple concept but has had significant impact for individuals. I am delighted that it is going to expand to other areas and I feel privileged to have been part of its inception.

Reading for Wellbeing - Phase 1 map

Piloted in the North East

The project has been initially piloted in six North East Local Authority areas. It has recruited Community Reading Workers working within very local neighbourhood settings in County Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Middlesbrough, and Redcar & Cleveland local authority areas. The pilot was funded through a donation from Ann Cleeves which was matched by each local authority wanting to partner in the scheme. Each area has defined their own way of delivering the project, based on their own local needs.

Phase 2

In phase 2 of the project, five additional local authority areas in the North East are currently looking to develop Reading for Wellbeing as part of their library offer. Funding has been secured through the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board as part of their health inequalities work. This will support kickstarting new schemes along with match funding via the 5 Local Authorities.

So many people who are passionate about books have reached out and connected with others in profoundly affecting ways. It is inspiring to hear how people have benefitted from this work and how their health and happiness has improved. We have so much to learn from their experiences.

Regional case studies

Our Learning Report outlines how we have worked in different ways with different local authority areas.

Gateshead Libraries have also documented their experience of embedding the project locally.