The Reading Agency has made two new hires as it prepares to re-launch its Quick Reads scheme later this year.
Harinder Matharu, who joins from the University of Leicester's community reading projects, has been appointed head of adult reading and Lily Staunton Howe, from refugee charity Paiwand, has been made assistant programme manager for adult reading.
Matharu said: “With the re-launch of Quick Reads and the new year of Reading Ahead, this is a very exciting time to be leading The Reading Agency’s adult reading programmes. I’m very much looking forward to building on the success of Reading Ahead, working with local communities and our partners to build a nation of readers.”
Quick Reads will re-launch later this year with a new set of books thanks to three years of funding from best-selling author Jojo Moyes. The new year of Reading Ahead, the programme in workplaces, colleges, libraries and prisons across the UK which invites participants to pick six reads and record, rate and review them in a diary to get a certificate, will begin this June.
Staunton Howe added: “It’s really exciting to be working on programmes that specifically support adult readers. This is a group that can often fall through the gaps in terms of policy and support even though reading is such a gateway to opportunities like improving access to employment and education and benefiting mental health.”
The Reading Agency's c.e.o. Sue Wilkinson said: "I am delighted to welcome Harinder and Lily to The Reading Agency. I know they already have big plans for our adult reading programmes. As an organisation we are very excited that they are in place for the new year of Reading Ahead and the re-launch of Quick Reads. We look forward to them building on the great efforts of Genevieve Clarke in the area of adult literacy by spreading the message of Reading Ahead and Quick Reads across many more adult learning organisations, colleges and prisons in the years to come."