In 2016 we crossed the pond to bring Sweet Readers to the UK by partnering with Alleyn’s School and Castlebar Care Home, both in South London. We have been so blessed to have brilliant and dedicated teams with both partners and to have formed a bridged diverse community including residents, students, faculty and administrators.
With a team of Goodwill Ambassadors from Sweet Readers and the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT, we piloted the program with 6 Form 7 students and trained four Alleyn’s faculty to facilitate.
The program has been a wonderful success and has expanded 700%! The adult participants enjoy, on average, 20 hours of engagement per school year. This community, which became self-sustaining within two years, has taught us that regardless of our cultural or geographic differences, we all benefit from creative human engagement, discovering the person behind the masks we all wear and impacting a person’s life for the better.
With special thanks to Sarah Burdett, Nicholas Allan, Brendan Allen, Susan Butler, Natalie Demain, Sue Duffy, Hayden Hoover, Ryan Kahn, Terry O’Connor, Annie Reeve (for beautiful photographs), Andy Skinnard, Megan McDonagh, Daniele Starfield, Erin Withstandley, Alfie, Anna, Bede, Hannah, Mabel, Matthew, Anita, Athena, Joan, John, Lilo and Teresa. And additional thanks to Philip Bedford for excellent photography!