The Libraries of Sanctuary Team has started “Reading Friends Project” which aims to:
> Combat loneliness and isolation, through the proven power of reading (research has shown that reading and sharing stories enhances the well-being of refugees and helps mitigate some of the negative states of mind that are associated with refugee/asylum seekers experience, including loneliness and isolation).
> Connect people by starting conversations through reading
> Give people opportunities to meet others, share stories, make new friends, and have fun in an informal setting – initially online (probably a mixture of virtual and phone sessions).
It has a focus on those who are considered vulnerable, isolated, at risk of loneliness and are digitally excluded.
For the pilot, we anticipate a group of around 10 individuals; we have started to identify people who may be interested but we expect to be able initially to accommodate another 8 individuals.
We are purchasing digital tablets to loan, which will enable the people using them to connect to the internet even if they don’t have (for example) wifi connectivity where they live. These will enable people to participate in the project.
If you would like to participate or have any further questions, please do get in touch with Abed Moubayed Abed.Moubayed@Kirklees.gov.uk or David Summers firstname.lastname@example.org