New Adult Reading team joins The Reading Agency

31 May 2019: The Reading Agency has appointed Harinder Matharu as Head of Adult Reading and Lily Staunton Howe as Assistant Programme Manager for Adult Reading.

Matharu joins The Reading Agency after working on community reading projects in Higher Education at the University of Leicester. He has also run community-based heritage projects aimed at unearthing hidden histories and environmental projects that promote sustainable living.

Matharu says: “With the re-launch of Quick Reads and the new year of Reading Ahead, this is a very exciting time to be leading The Reading Agency’s adult reading programmes. I’m very much looking forward to building on the success of Reading Ahead, working with local communities and our partners to build a nation of readers.”

Staunton Howe has experience as a youth worker and mentor for Paiwand, a charity that supports refugees and asylum seekers. She has also taught Geography A Level, working primarily with Special Educational Needs students. She focused her MSc on gender and education in the development sector.


Staunton Howe says: “It’s really exciting to be working on programmes that specifically support adult readers. This is a group that can often fall through the gaps in terms of policy and support even though reading is such a gateway to opportunities like improving access to employment and education and benefiting mental health.”

Sue Wilkinson MBE, CEO of The Reading Agency, says: “I am delighted to welcome Harinder and Lily to The Reading Agency. I know they already have big plans for our adult reading programmes. As an organisation we are very excited that they are in place for the new year of Reading Ahead and the re-launch of Quick Reads. We look forward to them building on the great efforts of Genevieve Clarke in the area of adult literacy by spreading the message of Reading Ahead and Quick Reads across many more adult learning organisations, colleges and prisons in the years to come.”

Quick Reads will re-launch later this year with a new set of books thanks to three years of funding from best-selling author Jojo Moyes. The new year of Reading Ahead begins this June.

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Read more about Jojo Moyes’ donation to Quick Reads ahead of the re-launch

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