Reading for Wellbeing Project Launch

To mark the 21st anniversary of her detective character Vera Stanhope, and in recognition of the solace she’s found in stories throughout her life, best-selling writer Ann Cleeves is helping to fund a project to show how reading can boost health.

The project will include the appointment of nine Community Reading Workers across six local authority pilot areas: County Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland. It’s co-ordinated by partners including VONNE and PHE North East, and will be independently evaluated by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria.

To help improve the health and wellbeing of those experiencing the highest levels of health inequality in our region, the Community Reading Workers will support access to stories and reading, including audio books.

“Stories can be healing. If we’re drowning in chaotic thoughts of our own, to step inside someone else’s head, just for a while, is a kind of freedom.” – Ann Cleeves