The Reader


Role and Opportunity Details 

The Reader is a nationwide charity which brings people together to read great stories and poetry aloud, creating powerful moments of connection.  As we read, we stop and talk about what we’ve read.  We call this Shared Reading.

We are looking for volunteers to run Shared Reading groups in Wigan and Leigh, so that we can bring Shared Reading to more people, particularly those who may benefit the most, which includes people living with dementia and in care homes, and people experiencing mental health difficulties.

If you’re interested in helping people to improve their quality of life through brilliant literature, then we’d love to hear from you.


                                                  “You feel that ‘togetherness’ – that’s what poetry can do” – group member


Specific Skills Required

The Reader provides a thorough training programme for every volunteer Reader Leader.  You’ll be given the opportunity to attend a taster session beforehand, to make sure that it is the right opportunity for you.

The most important thing you can bring is your enthusiasm and your desire to make a positive difference to people’s lives.


Benefits of Volunteering with this organisation

Volunteering with The Reader will allow you to make a difference in your local community, meet new people, and learn new skills.

You will benefit from:

  • High-quality training, that will fully prepare you to lead Shared Reading sessions;
  • Access to an online hub of thoughtfully selected poetry, literature, and other resources;
  • Ongoing guidance and advice from the dedicated Support Team.


                                                    “Getting a really good discussion going really lifts my day” – Volunteer Reader Leader

                          “For that hour when we’re stuck into a great story or poem, people feel seen and heard” – Volunteer Reader Leader


Level of commitment required 

Ongoing opportunity.

The training is made up of 6 half-day sessions, which take place online, over 6 consecutive weeks.

For Shared Reading to be at its most effective, continuity is important.  Therefore, we kindly ask that anyone undertaking the training is able to commit to volunteering with The Reader for at least 1 year.


Date(s)/Time(s) Required

Once trained, volunteers usually deliver groups on a weekly or fortnightly basis.


Volunteer Opportunity Number