Leicester’s reading friends connect with those feeling isolated during lockdown

By Shantelle Gondo

Reading Friends are helping those in need feel less isolated during the lockdown, by connecting with others through their love for reading books.

Leicester libraries and the Reading Agency are launching a new service for those who may be feeling isolated during the lockdown.

The new project will take place until the end of March, with the help provided from the National Reading Agency, with £5,600 of funding provided by the Government through the agency.

One of Leicester’s residents, Sarah Millen said: “This year has been a difficult year for all of us, and I’m looking forward to this service because it can be a distraction from everything that’s going on right now.”

The Reading Friends will be providing weekly phone calls to those who may be feeling isolated, housebound, or using books to make time go quicker.

The phone calls provided will be with a member from the city council’s library service, who will also be connecting those who read, in groups of three or more conversations for at least an hour.

They believe that this will make those isolated become more engaged with others, share their stories, and make new friends.

The Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods, Cllr Kirk Master believes that: “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.”

For more information on how to get involved and refer others, email: libraries@leicester.gov.uk or phone your local library between 10am and 4pm, or visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/libraries and www.leicester.gov.uk/librariesfromhome