Ann Cleeves of ‘Vera’ and ‘Shetland’ fame began the project to explore how stories and poems can offer comfort, escape, inspiration and laughter in difficult times. Working with Libraries and Public Health they enabled carers to have easy access to free books (audio, printed and downloadable e-books). Supported by Mary Lowe, the Community Reading worker for North Tyneside, carers were assisted with both reading and choosing books.
For those who didn’t yet feel confident about meeting up with people post-Covid, Mary offered regular book chat phone calls, enrolled participants onto Libraries at Home and helped with downloading the free Borrowbox App giving access to thousands of audio and e- books.
And for those who were keen to venture out, she arranged visits, set up reading and book groups to meet in local venues, and helped families to support their children with reading from baby/toddler age onwards.
Both readers and non-readers were welcome with the programme offering thousands of free audio books to download!