Torfaen Libraries 'Read to Me' service

Posted on: Friday 6 September 2019

It’s long been regarded that reading aloud and being read to is good for you. There is evidence that it can alleviate the symptoms of mild depression and improve well-being.

This is the ethos behind Torfaen Libraries Shared Reading Service, a therapeutic reading group phenomenon pioneered by The Reader Organisation.

Torfaen Libraries have four trained facilitators who deliver shared reading across 10 community settings in the borough; three of which were set up in partnership with Age Connects. Other sessions are delivered at mental health services and group sessions at local residential and nursing homes.

The library service has found that due to ill-health and mobility issues, residents who would benefit the most were unable to get to group sessions. Working with Torfaen Voluntary Alliance they came up with the idea of taking shared reading to these people in their own homes. 

The Read to Me service is volunteer led, each week a volunteer visits their reading companion in their own home. The visit provides; the enjoyment of books, the opportunity to talk about what’s being read, the pleasure of good company and someone to talk to. 

The service offers an accessible way of taking a common solitary activity and using it to bring people together, preventing social isolation and loneliness.

The library service has many active volunteers regularly supporting service users and are looking to recruit more.

If you would like to become a reading companion give the library service a call on 01633 647654 or email

For more information about library services please visit the Torfaen website. 

Last Modified: 06/09/2019 Back to top