Matthew Entwistle is a Community Librarian at LiveWire, Warrington. He took over the co-ordination of Reading Ahead in 2016 and runs the programme as part of a diverse partnership of organisations across the town. In 2018-19 over 750 people registered to take part.
How does Reading Ahead work in Warrington?
Here in Warrington we have what we think is a pretty unique partnership which comes together each year to offer Reading Ahead to people across the town. This partnership includes LiveWire (a Community Interest Company, formed in 2012 when all Leisure, Libraries and Lifestyles services transferred from Warrington Borough Council), Warrington & Vale Royal College, Priestley College, Gorse Covert Day Centre, Gainsborough House Care Home, Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a local ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) group, Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club, and individual members of the public.
The partnership has strengthened and expanded over the years, starting with the Bronze and then Silver Awards and now regularly has enough completers to qualify for the Reading Agency's Gold Award.
Why has this partnership been so successful?
As with all successful projects the key lies in two principle areas; partnerships and participants. The Reading Ahead partnership works because all partners see the value of the scheme and know the difference that it makes to the lives of their users. All partners can evidence clear and powerful results and point to individual empowerment on a grand scale.
It works for participants because they are engaged. They are presented with a high-quality, easy to understand scheme that ultimately works for them. This is backed up by the support of staff who care.
What are your plans for the programme in the future?
When things are going so well, one could say, 'more of the same', but ultimately it's about so much more. It's about continuing to build and to grow; continuing to shout about the message that reading changes lives and is one of life's core skills. Reader development is about enriching and enabling - isn't that something we should all shout about?
Email email@example.com to start your organisation's Reading Ahead journey today.
Visit our shop for offers and discounts on Reading Ahead materials for 2019-20.