Pastime with its rewards

Wiltshire Times: From left, Noel and Sue Hardy, group leader Josephine Corcoran, and David Haley at the reading workshop held in Pewsey Library                                            Photo: Vicky Scipio (VS235) From left, Noel and Sue Hardy, group leader Josephine Corcoran, and David Haley at the reading workshop held in Pewsey Library Photo: Vicky Scipio (VS235)

Volunteers are needed for new Library Memory Groups set up in January which uses reading to stimulate people with memory loss.

The Reading Organisation is a national charity which uses reading aloud as a way to improve the wellbeing of people affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or any other memory loss condition, and their carers.

Working in partnership with Wiltshire libraries, it offers a free Library Memory Group, which meets weekly to read short stories and poetry and to chat about the readings, while being in a supportive environment.

Josephine Corcoran is a published poet, short story writer and playwright and runs the Wiltshire groups, but is seeking volunteers to be trained to run groups in the future.

She said: “We need people with an interest in literature and working with people with memory loss.

“It is very rewarding because people enjoy the groups so much.

She said: “We read high quality literature and classic poetry that people might have read at school.

“We use stimulating language which people respond to.

“Sometimes people with memory loss stop reading. When you read you use a part of your brain they might not have used for years.

“They talk about memories they remember and ideas that come out of reading the stories and poetry. It can be quote moving.

“It is a lovely group to be in and has a lovely atmosphere.

“It is very calm and relaxing and the location has encouraged people to renew their library cards and read literature during the week until the next session.”

There are four Library Memory Groups in Wiltshire, which started in January and hold up to 12 people. Warminster meets on Wednesdays from 11.30am-1pm, Mere meets on Wednes-days from 2.30-4pm, Purton meets on Thursdays from 11.30am-1pm and Pewsey meets on Thursdays from 2.30-4pm.

To volunteer, email Ms Corcoran at josephinecorcoran@thereader.org.uk or call Rebecca Bolton, outreach services manager for Wilt-shire libraries, on 01225 713706 or email rebecca. bolton@wiltshire.gov.uk

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