Meet meet marvellous volunteer Kathy
How did you get into shared reading & why?

Reading is my greatest passion, but it’s a solitary activity. I wanted to find a way to share the joy of words with others, becoming a reader leader gave me the opportunity to connect with people through story

What do you enjoy about being a Reader Leader?

I love the personal anecdotes that come up during shared reading – my husband did this during the war, that happened to me when I lived on the streets – the way people resonate with different sentences, different stories, the way fiction enables readers to reflect on their own lives and open up is incredibly moving.

Are there any stories or poems that have stuck with you & why?

“The Swimmer,” by John Cheever. I read this story with the HomeGround residence, which was particularly pertinent because it’s about facing up to ourselves, about the fact that sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. On another level – it reminded us that what you see isn’t always what you get – who Neddy was at the beginning of the story is completely different to who he is at the end of the story.

Any reader who’s journey has inspired you in your group?

A woman called Nan from Selwyn Village who I met when I was 22, I’m now 28. Nan was in her mid-nineties. She told me that she had never felt more beautiful. She said that when she looked in the mirror she was shocked because how she felt on the inside didn’t reflect what she looked like on the outside. She was sharp, articulate, funny and – of course, she was the essence of beauty.

Tell us more about your community…

HomeGround group – a bunch of middle-aged men who have been on and off the streets for years, a bunch of clever middle-aged men with big, unassuming, beautiful brains full of knowledge and imagination. A bunch of kind middle-aged men with big hearts that are full of time for all people and all experiences. A bunch of attentive middle-aged men, ready to listen, ready to read, ready to be, ready to live.

Would you recommend becoming a Reader Leader & why?

A wonderful way to meet like minded people with shared passions. I good way to be mindful in an increasingly chaotic world.

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