Studying English with us? Fancy a career that would allow you to carry on doing what you’ve been doing on your course, in a home-grown, innovative Liverpool organisation? Victoria Jordan is in her final year of an English degree at LJMU, and she is currently working as an intern at The Reader. Here, she describes what lead her to the role, and what it involves:

“As you enter your final year of Uni, it starts to dawn on you that soon you will be fighting off all the other graduates for the career you really want. Internships are a great way of making you more desirable to a prospective employer, as well as allowing you to learn new skills to add to your CV.  I am currently halfway through my four month internship with The Reader Organisation and already feel more confident about entering the big, bad world!

Calderstones Mansion, The Reader's new home
Calderstones Mansion, The Reader’s new home

The Reader is a charity and social enterprise based in Calderstones Park, Liverpool, that promotes well-being through shared reading. Their reading groups take place in a variety of settings, including open community groups such as libraries and community centres, as well as at our head office. We also work in residential care homes, and dementia settings. There is lots of work going on in Prisons, probation hostels and Secure wards: the list is endless! The Reader help people from all walks of life connect with great literature by running the weekly shared reading groups. The positive effect this has on people is quite remarkable.

My role is the Arts Admin Intern for the People Team. I help with general office admin duties, and have learned more about what goes on behind the scenes to keep an organisation like this running smoothly. It is an exciting time for the organisation and during my time here I have witnessed the opening of the Story Barn, which aims to encourage children to read for pleasure, and assisted with the recruitment process as we expand into Northern Ireland.

I also help with the ‘Off the Page’ project. Volunteers are trained to go to a child’s home setting for an hour a week and read with them. For many different reasons these children have been referred because someone believes reading will be a benefit for them, whether to improve reading skills, confidence or to prevent them feeling socially isolated. This involves risk assessment and handling sensitive and confidential information.

The Reader runs the organisation with a set of values in mind, such as ‘Great Literature is at our heart’, and ‘We are kind but bold’, to name a couple. Every staff meeting starts with a poem which someone will read aloud and we will discuss. All emails are signed off with the book you are currently reading and the majority of staff lead, or take part in, a regular reading group. This makes it the perfect place to work if you are studying English like myself. Working here has helped me to learn skills that are transferable from my degree into a business setting.”

One of LJMU English’s graduates now has a permanent position at The Reader, and you can read all about it in an upcoming post.

Studying English and LJMU and thinking about volunteering at The Reader after hearing about Victoria’s internship? Contact Alice Ferrebe:

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