Reading initiatives

The Reading Agency hold a reading challenge every year (currently named ‘Reading Ahead’) in which people are encouraged to read at least six books, poems or articles. They can complete a reading diary and enter a prize draw. For a number of years the library service has offered packs of quick read books and reading diaries to wards and units so that service users have the opportunity to participate. Staff have also participated in these reading challenges.   You can read more about Reading Agency challenges here

Picture of Martina Cole


Popular crime fiction author Martina Cole spoke to service users and staff about her books at the Barberry. This event was well attended and created a shared sense of excitement among both service users and staff who enjoy reading her books.


Wellbeing-themed reading collection for staff, service users and carers


A small group of dedicated readers within the Trust have created an online collection of poems, fiction, true life stories and short stories for adults and children, which could help improve your wellbeing.

In early 2014, Pravir Sharma, Consultant Psychiatrist, and Anita Phul, Librarian, began working together on the Many Roads to Wellbeing reading project after Dr Sharma started thinking about how he could help his patients to get better and if reading can support them.

Many people enjoy reading and this relaxing activity can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing. It can inspire hope and may give us motivation to move forward and overcome challenges.

Anita says: “The reading resources that may appeal to you will depend on your own preferences and experiences that may be influenced by where you are on your personal life journey. The Many Roads to Wellbeing website allows people to search by themes including acceptance, maintaining hope and cultivating mindfulness.”

An accompanying paper booklet is available from our  Library Service, which contains a few examples of full poems and short stories from the collection. To obtain copies of the booklet for yourself, or to distribute to others, please email:

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