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New books donated to HARP

Southend-on-Sea Borough Libraries want to share their love of reading by giving out books to people who don’t usually read for pleasure, or own books of their own, and they recently donated 30 copies of ‘My Everything’ by Katie Marsh to HARP.

The books were donated by publishers and distributed by the library in partnership with The Reading Agency as part of their World Book Day celebrations, and they will be used by HARP service users as part of a Meaningful Activities programme to rebuild confidence, social skills, and develop new healthy habits.

Damon Starky, HARP’s Training, Development & Meaningful Activities Co-ordinator said “the importance of reading and the communication skills developed by doing so are key to personal development. Through reading, we identify with characters, relive the experiences, and we are very often inspired.”

He continued “libraries are a fantastic community asset and linking up with them is part of the ongoing development of our well-rounded Meaningful Activities programme. These books will be used to start a reading group to support our service users to re-stabilise, re-skill, and move towards a positive life away from homelessness.”

The Reading Agency’s research shows that reading can increase empathy, improve relationships with others and reduce the symptoms of depression. Sue Wilkinson, their Chief Executive, said “our aim with World Book Night has always been to reach and develop new readers. We can’t wait to work again with those who do such a terrific job of getting our brilliant books into the hands of people who don’t think reading is for them.”

If you would like to help HARP support people away from homelessness, get in touch today or visit

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