What we do Older people Introducing Reading Friends Verbal has been chosen by The Reading Agency in London to be its Northern Ireland partner for the UK-wide programme, Reading Friends. Reading Friends is funded by the Big Lottery Programme 2018 - 2020. Pilot programme Verbal will manage a pilot programme in 2018, which will be offered out as a small grant to the local community. We will also build a network of agencies that work with older people to create a steering group to oversee project outcomes. Empowering older people Sinead Devine is the Reading Rooms Officer for Older People at Verbal and will manage the project. We are delighted to share the new Reading Friends programme in Northern Ireland. We are soon to launch an Expression of Interest Form that will enable us to offer a small grant to an external agency to deliver a programme of reading for older people. We look forward to empowering older people through reading and helping to ease social isolation and loneliness. The Reading Agency The Reading Agency is a leading charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England.