Reading Force is based on personal experience. As a family we found that shared-reading kept us in touch, both as a family and with our wider friends and connections, throughout our time in the military. When life was tense, or we could not be together, having a book in common really helped us remain connected. As individuals, we also found that what we had read gave us things to talk about with people we met for the first time. Books provide neutral common ground.
Now that my husband is a veteran, I am often asked which was my favourite posting. I always say the same thing – Northern Ireland. We made many friends – with whom we are still in touch – our children settled very happily in their local schools, and the sheer beauty of the place was appreciated by us all. Our son played his violin in local festivals and we all still love an Ulster Fry.
So it’s a particular pleasure now to fully share our project with Northern Ireland. Reading Force, as it exists already, is available to families in NI right now. Our new funding is for the NI veteran community, and we are currently reworking our scrapbook for distribution directly to you. Information on our progress will be shared here, and through ambassadors working on our behalf in Northern Ireland. We have also built close links with NI organisations and charities already supporting veterans and will be making material available through them.
Reading Force started ten years ago. Throughout that time we have heard that those taking part really enjoyed it. In particular, they said that it helped them feel better connected.
Wherever you live, and whatever your link with the military, we hope you will decide to take part and enjoy the pleasure that connecting through books can bring.
Reading Force recently received funding, from three key organisations supporting veterans, to develop a version of shared reading to support the veteran community in Northern Ireland. This is in its early stages, but a press release telling you more about the project is HERE.
We are looking to add a member of staff to our team to work with us on delivery, and a job description is available to download HERE.
If you wish to have more information about either the project or the role, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.