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Reading revolution on its way to Hull - 19/05/17
A ground-breaking project which reduces isolation and anxiety, and promotes wellbeing, is being launched in Hull on Thursday (May 18).

Reading Rooms is a UK City of Culture Legacy Handover Project which began in Derry-Londonderry in 2013 during its UK City of Culture Year – a mantle now passed on to Hull.

Using a reading aloud and a shared reading setting, the programme encourages participants to share personal experiences from their past, sparking memories, stimulating new thoughts and provoking conversation.

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure and Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure, said: “Reading Rooms is a bold concept that challenges the most vulnerable people to step out of their comfort zone and explore ideas and feelings through the writing of others.
“In doing so they are able to experience the new, unusual and exciting with expert support to help them to manage their response and build their confidence.”
Reading Rooms is delivered by Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd and funded by the James Reckitt Library Trust and Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s Creative Communities Programme.

The group sessions are led by a trained facilitator who skilfully brings the group together and prompts conversation without pressure.

Discussions are free flowing and this social aspect of the group allows for a friendly atmosphere and an opportunity to learn more about others.

Reading Rooms can take place anywhere in the community and with people of all ages.

The project started in Derry-Londonderry during their 2013 celebration as the first UK City of Culture.

Conceived and administered by the Verbal Arts Centre, Reading Rooms has been delivered in a range of settings across Northern Ireland including residential care homes, prisons, youth groups, schools, and community centres.

Reading Rooms in Hull will launch on Thursday May 18 with a citywide celebration, sharing the joy of reading and conversation as widely as possible.

The Reading Rooms launch event takes place at Hull Central Library from 5.00pm – 7.15pm.

Following a welcome by Mitch Upfold, Managing Director of Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, guest speakers are Rosie Millard, Chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and James Kerr, Executive Director of The Verbal Arts Centre, Derry - Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

The event includes Reading Rooms taster sessions and information. Light refreshments will be provided.

Booking is essential. To book contact Jessica Leathley at Hull Central Library on 01482 614286 or email

During the day Reading Rooms sessions will take place at:

10.30am – 11.30am
Greenwood Avenue Library, Greenwood Avenue, HU6 9RU
Longhill Library, The Welcome Centre, St Margaret’s Church, Shannon Road HU8 9PD
Freedom Centre Library, Preston Road, HU9 3QB

2.00pm – 3.00pm
Avenues Library, Chanterlands Avenue. HU5 3TS
Bransholme Library, Goodhart Road, HU7 4EF
Fred Moore Library, Wold Road, HU5 5UN
Ings Library, Savoy Road, HU8 0TY
Waudby Library, Hemswell Avenue, HU9 5LD
Western Library, Boulevard, Hessle Road, HU3 3ED

Sessions are free and there is no need to book. Just drop by to enjoy the reading and conversation.

For further information see the James Reckitt Library Trust website –

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: “It is fantastic that we are able to take something so successful from Derry-Londonderry and bring it across for our City of Culture year.

“Reading Rooms has done some amazing work in Northern Ireland which we want to continue here in Hull.”

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