Reading Rooms is a low threshold, high quality outreach programme of reading-based activity. It celebrates literature and fosters rich and sustainable levels of community engagement.

Reading aloud

The Reading Rooms model involves groups of people meeting weekly in a community location. Sessions are structured and short stories and poetry are selected in advance to meet the needs of the group. The literature is read aloud by a trained, accredited volunteer facilitator.

Reflection and exploration

At regular, pre-designed, and tested discussion breaks in the reading, the group is encouraged to reflect on what is being read. Groups explore how the literature might relate to their own lives and circumstances. 

A safe space

Reading Rooms provides a safe, inclusive, and supportive creative environment for those most in need or most vulnerable.

Reading Rooms has created a network of nurturing and accessible spaces across Northern Ireland and in the North of England.

It can support people who, for a range of reasons, have become disengaged and help them to rekindle and reconnect with the world around them. 

Five initiatives

The Reading Rooms programme is divided into five project delivery areas:

  1. Children and young people, including those at risk or in care
  2. Criminal justice (specifically ex-young offenders)
  3. Older people, including those living in residential care homes
  4. Communities
  5. Social housing communities