Reading Friends comes to Portsmouth

An opportunity to connect people, especially those who might be isolated or missing seeing friends, is now available in Portsmouth. Reading Friends is a programme aimed at people who enjoy talking about books and would like to make new friends in lockdown. Reading Friends can be accessed via The Library Service.

Reading Friends is a UK wide innovative, reading befriending programme from The Reading Agency and has been developed with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development said, “Reaching out to people who are isolated or just missing companionship is very important right now. Reading Friends is doing just that, bringing people together to read, share stories, meet new friends and have fun. We will be using reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else to get people talking.”

The Library Service will arrange for Reading Friends to meet on Zoom in small groups or talk over the phone one-to-one. However, when lockdown is over it may be possible for Reading Friends to meet in person in a library. If you’re interested in joining a Reading Friends group or getting a phone call from a Reading Befriender, contact Pat Garrett at askalibrarian@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call 023 9268 8259.

Also, we are looking for Reading Befrienders – people to run the Reading Friends groups or call Reading Friends on the phone. If you’re interested in volunteering then register your interest at https://volunteer.hiveportsmouth.com/…/reading-friend-befr…/  and somebody will be in touch.