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Read On

Give the gift of reading this winter.

At The Reading Agency, we know that reading is a source of support, inspiration and comfort in the most challenging of times. Reading has the power to bring us closer to others, connect with the people around us, keep us learning and help us to feel better.

Through our research this year, we’ve found that the mental health support needs of those living with no fixed address are significant. 45% of people experiencing homelessness have been diagnosed with a mental health issue. This rises to 8 out of 10 people who are sleeping rough (1), and the prevalence of psychosis is up to 15 times as high, with older people experiencing homelessness being more likely to suffer from depression or dementia (2).

Research shows that regular readers for pleasure report fewer feelings of stress and depression than non-readers. This campaign aims to support wellbeing and provide comfort in the most challenging of times (3).

That’s why, this winter, we’re raising funds for our #ReadOn campaign.

From 29 November, for every £1 you donate a Quick Read will be gifted to someone who will benefit the most from reading this winter. We want you to help us to spread the joy and power of reading. Please help us reach our target of gifting at least 25,000 copies of our life-changing Quick Reads titles to homeless communities across the UK.

Working in partnership with our library partners, these books will be given away in five locations across the UK: Birmingham, Cornwall, Luton, Newham and Oldham.

Each gifted book will include information about local library services as warm, safe community spaces where people can engage with reading material, access digital services and training and access reading groups, events and information about other support services.

How can your reading group support?

  • Ask each member of your reading group to donate £1 to the Big Give
  • Get your December books from the library and donate the money you may otherwise have used on buying books
  • Ask family and friends to support. Share the donation website ( and use #ReadOn on social media

Donate now

1. Homelessness and mental health | Crisis UK
2. LGA (2017) The Impact of Homelessness on Health – A Guide for Local Authorities
3. J Billington (2015), The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure


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