READING Force headed to London to hold an exhibition about its work as the only national, shared reading charity for British Service families.

The charity organised the week-long event at Westminster Palace to encourage MPs with Service families in their constituencies to help spread word of its work.

Gisela Stuart MP, a Reading Force trustee who sponsored the exhibition, said: “I am proud to be able to contribute to the work of Reading Force as a trustee and very pleased to have an exhibition about it in the commons so parliamentarians can see the work of this charity for themselves.

“In years to come, even more Service families and their children will read books together, fill their Reading Force scrapbooks and share the experience.”

Providing continuity

Reading Force encourages Service families to read and talk about books together, whether they are at home as a group or separated by deployments, postings or training.

Participating families benefit from improved communication and a sense of continuity while a family member is away from home. Service children enjoy having a focused, fun activity to do with their serving parent.

Army wife, mother of four, author and publisher, Dr Alison Baverstock, founded the charity in 2011 when she and her children had the best telephone conversations with her deployed husband when they had read the same book.

She said: “There’s a lot of evidence that reading for pleasure can build resilience and empathy. This exhibition offers us the chance to show how shared reading has helped Service families create common ground when facing situations that arise through the challenges of their particular lives.

“We look forward to sharing first-hand feedback from those who have taken part in Reading Force.”

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