What You'll Do: 

Reading Friends is all about reading, whether that’s books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else, chatting together and having fun. You don’t have to be an expert in literature to take part. All that’s needed is a love of reading and a desire to help people feel more connected in their community.

As a Reading Befriender, you'll be helping to tackle loneliness in your local community by using books and reading to share stories and start conversations over the telephone.

Reading Friends is a national programme developed by the Reading Agency and administered in Stockton by Stockton Borough Libraries


  • To make a weekly phone call to an individual who has registered to use the service.
  • To carry out a 30-60 minute phone conversation with a focus on reading but not exclusive to reading.
  • To provide a listening ear and friendly voice to people who may be feeling lonely. 
  • To provide a non-judgemental, open minded environment for the individual to share their thoughts.
  • To raise any concerns to the Reading Friends co-ordinator should any additional needs or services be identified.
Why You'll Love It: 
Our volunteers have found they enjoy and look forward to their weekly phone call with their Reading Friend. You will make friends and enjoy talking about a subject you both love.
What You'll Learn: 
You'll develop communication and listening skills. 
What We're Looking For: 
Skills required A love of reading and the desire to share this with others. We will aim to match you with a service user with similar interests. A friendly and welcoming manner. Good communication and listening skills with the ability to build rapport through conversation. Open minded and non-judgemental attitude. The ability to identify where concerns need to be raised with the Reading Friends Co-ordinator. Patient and sensitive approach and the ability to empathise with people. Reliable and trustworthy. The confidence to read to others. Ability to follow guidelines/instructions. Have the initiative to work without supervision
Mental Health
Older People
10 Weeks Minimum
1 Hours / Week
Skills you will develop: 
Active listening
DBS check
Phone Interview

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