Margaret Haslam
21 February 2024

It far exceeded my expectations

2 minute read

Homes within the Group are always looking for the next initiative to bring a smile to our residents and improve their day-to-day experiences! Whether that’s a new piece of technology, a well-thought-out technique or following in the footsteps of a trailblazer.

Norley Hall is certainly no different Julia, the Home’s Activity Coordinator, recently became a Reader Leader after completing an eight-week course.

The course is run by a national charity, The Reader, which is aiming to bring about a ‘reading revolution’. They envisage a world where everyone can experience great literature. With 1,000 volunteers and partners, they engage with beneficiaries through an approach called shared reading.

Shared reading involves a Reader Leader reading a poem, short story or novel aloud which can be followed by a conversation around the piece in turn, creating a space where people feel at ease.

“It’s a really serious qualification, they don’t take it lightly. They want us to spread the word about reading, bring it into people’s lives and make a difference.

“There’s been lots and lots of after support which is great, additional books access to a mentor and soon I’ll be attending a Zoom specifically looking at reading in a care environment.

“I’m currently just doing one-to-one sessions so I can tailor it to residents’ interests, it just sparks so much conversation.

“It’s been amazing to see the impact. There’s a lady here on end-of-life care, she’s partially sighted, and I read a poem to her about a Fairy Glen – I believe there’s one in Parbold! You should have seen the smile on her face, it was incredible.

“She said, ‘Thank you so much, you’ve set me up for the day with some really happy thoughts’ and I realised how powerful it is.

“I read to another resident who spends a lot of time in her room, she’d never mentioned it to me before, but she’s an incredible fan of poetry and now we’ve found a new connection!

“For me, I’ve been really surprised about how impactful a poem or a piece of literature can be. It far exceeded my expectations, to see the smiles on peoples’ faces, hearing the feedback has been incredible. It’s going to make a beautiful addition to the Activity Programme here at Norley, I can already envisage developing it in different ways as it becomes invaluable!”

For more information on Norley Hall, please click here.

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