Reading Rooms Celebrate Award

Staff at the Verbal Arts Centre recently celebrated being shortlisted for a major award for work improving the quality of life in the community.

Picture for blog story Reading Rooms Celebrate Award

The centre’s Reading Rooms project – a shared reading scheme which works with various groups in the city, providing opportunities to build mental and physical health and well being – has been shortlisted for the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, specifically for their work with dementia groups.

If they win, they will roll the already hugely successful Reading Rooms local project out across more local communities that need it. And they need the public’s help to get to the next round.

The Verbal Arts Centre’s Andrea Doran says the innovative Reading Room programme, supported by the Reader Organisation, has had a huge impact on the well-being of, in particular, the dementia group taking part and is keen to allow other dementia sufferers  across  Ireland to experience its benefits.

“Our Reading Rooms uses a reading aloud and shared reading setting to encourage participants to share personal experiences from their past sparking memories, stimulating new thoughts and provoking conversations related to the short story and poems being used by the facilitator.

“This is a crucial and worthwhile project. Recent studies from Liverpool University and The Reader Organisation clearly show reading helps improve dementia patient’s quality of life.

“18,286 people are directly affected by this illness in Northern Ireland. If we win this award we will work with the Alzheimer’s Society NI to provide this group with the opportunity to help improve participant’s quality of life. 

“Dementia sufferers who have taken part in the project report feeling more positive; valuing an opportunity and space to reflect on life experiences via memories or emotion evoked by a story or a poem;  raised self-esteem, reduced feelings of isolation and improved communication skills. It has changed lives locally and we would love to roll it out across the country. So get voting!”

You can vote for the Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms project here


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