Reading Force is an Aldershot charity that was set up eight years ago by Dr Alison Baverstock, a military wife for 30 years who understood that not only is reading important but it is also a great way for families to communicate and have something to talk about. She said:
“We found that periods of big change like when he was deployed or we were facing another move, sometimes it’s difficult to have conversations to talk about what’s going on."
"Actually reading a book together provides common ground for good discussion which can be a particularly effective way of talking to each other when you’re separated or feeling rather tense.”
The initiative is a shared reading scheme within the forces community and is open to all serving personnel, veterans and reservists.
The idea is to share a book with family, friends, neighbours and to make notes on the book in the free Reading Force scrapbook to keep a record of the discussions, pictures and messages.
“You don’t have to be sitting in the same place.
"Reading Force works particularly well when a parent is deployed or away on a training course because you’re not in the same place but it gives common ground for conversation.”
“We have had several instances where a parent has been deployed and the family is missing them.
"They ring up from wherever they are posted and there is a sort of gap because you’re emotional to hear their voice but don’t know quite what to talk about.
"The books that you’re reading can keep you in each other’s thoughts while you’re reading it and give you something to talk about when you next get in touch.”
For World Book Day, Reading Force is giving away lots of books on their Facebook page and asking for photos of your World Book Day costumes.
If you would like more information on the charity and how you can get involved visit their website www.readingforce.org.uk.
If you register for free scrapbook they will send you one to get you started.