We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Reading Force initiative – 25 online book clubs for groups of Forces children and groups of adults.
In many ways this is nothing new. Since we began – ten years ago this year! – we have been encouraging Forces families to choose and share books for fun, and as a way of keeping in touch with deployed parents and their wider families, and taking part in an activity that brings a strong sense of connection, reduces isolation and increases communication.
These groups are different in that they will be hosted by leaders and they are for individuals from the military community (serving, ex-serving and veteran). They will be locally based and open to those with connections to the military who may, but who do not necessarily, already know each other.
With funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Force for Change programme, books and resources will be available to book club members. Starting in March with a few clubs hosted by volunteers, the project will run throughout 2021. Earlier trials have shown that book club members really enjoy participating and that being encouraged to read books they would not otherwise have come across can be great fun. Comments from those taking part in pilot projects, last summer were as follows:
“I look forward to the book club as it is great to meet and talk to other young people around the UK, and sharing ideas about the story.” Army Welfare Service teen book club participant
“What are the benefits? There are so many! Getting to know a greater range of people. Growing your relationship with people you know a little (or even much) about. Learning from others, having your views and attitudes stretched and challenged. Reading materials/books you wouldn’t normally choose. Taken out of comfort zone.” Lockdown book club member
“I like all the chat and the talk of book, the book recommendations, the quizzes and speaking to others. I really like how we can listen to each other and chat.” Army Welfare Service teen book club participant
If you’d like to help your community by running an online book club, to register your interest or find out more, contact Judith, our Reading Force Book Club Ambassador. Judith will help and support all coordinators to get started and as you continue running your groups.
Judith@readingforce.org.uk or call her on 07446 336426