Volunteers needed for Wiltshire library groups

Wiltshire Times: From left  are Noel and Sue Hardy, group leader Josephine Corcoran and David Haley 								  (VS235) By VICKY SCIPIO From left are Noel and Sue Hardy, group leader Josephine Corcoran and David Haley (VS235) By VICKY SCIPIO

Volunteers are needed for new library memory groups that aim to help Wiltshire people with memory loss.

They were set up in the county in January by the Reading Organisation, which is a national charity that uses reading aloud as a way to improve the wellbeing of people affected by memory loss conditions, and their carers.

It is working with libraries to offer the free groups, which meet weekly to read short stories and poetry and chat about them 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 the groups in the future.

She said: “We need people with an interest for literature and working with people with memory loss. It is very rewarding because people enjoy the groups so much.

“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 their memories and ideas that come out of reading stories and poetry. It can be quote moving.

“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 take up to 12 people.

Warminster meets on Wednesdays from 11.30am-1pm, Mere on Wednesdays from 2.30-4pm, Purton on Thursdays from 11.30am-1pm and Pewsey on Thursdays from 2.30-4pm.

To volunteer, email josephinecorcoran@thereader.org.uk or call Rebecca Bolton on 01225 713706 or rebecca.bolton@wiltshire.gov.uk

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