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Reading Friends will connect those who may be feeling isolated

Published on Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A woman on the telephone

A NEW service being launched by Leicester Libraries and the Reading Agency is helping people to keep in touch during the lockdown.

Reading Friends will provide a weekly phone call to anyone who may be feeling isolated or is housebound, using books to get the conversation going.

The phone call will be with a befriender from the city council’s libraries service, connecting readers with up to three others in group conversations. This will give readers the opportunity to talk to each other, share stories, make new friends and have fun. Each call could be up to an hour long.

The project will run until the end of March, and has been set up with the help of the national Reading Agency, with £5,600 of funding provided by the Government through the agency.

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods Cllr Kirk Master said: “Leicester Libraries are proud to be a part of the Reading Friends project, which aims to connect people during this isolating lockdown by starting conversations through reading.

“We hope it will give callers the chance to make new connections with like-minded people and provide a lifeline of informal social contact at a time when we know people could be struggling.”

The scheme is free. If you think you would like to join, or refer a friend or family member, please email libraries@leicester.gov.uk or phone your local library between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Thursday. Contact details for each library – plus much more information about the council’s libraries service – can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/libraries and www.leicester.gov.uk/librariesfromhome

The Reading Agency is at https://readingagency.org.uk/

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