25 June 2012
Left to right: Caroline, Councillor Bill Randall (Mayor), Sarah Hutchings (Director, Collected Works)
The group is part of City Reads, a citywide reading initiative that aims to spread a love of books and ideas to the widest possible audience throughout Brighton & Hove.
Read Aloud groups in particular are aimed at marginalised members of the community, giving people the opportunity to read aloud from, listen to and talk about books.
In 2011 four Read Aloud groups were set up specifically for older people.
In 2012, under the theme ‘Read to Recovery', six groups are being set up for people with mental health issues.
At the launch on Monday we took turns to read from the book that has been chosen, My Policeman by Bethan Roberts.
This is a really tender novel in which Roberts skilfully evokes the atmosphere of late 1950s Brighton, when to be gay was to live with the constant threat of exposure.
Shared reading is a very binding experience, and really helps to build a sense of community.
Many of those involved commented on how the experience of reading aloud helps people to gain in confidence, as well as strengthening links between them.
And for me, it was a really lovely way to start the week!
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