Yeovil Hospital is embracing the power of reading this week as famous authors read to patients on the wards as part of National Storytelling Week.

On Tuesday 30 January Tamsin Cooke, author of children’s book The Cat Burglar, entertained patients on the Children’s ward.

Tamsin Cooke said, “There is something really special, calming and comforting having someone read to you. Books are a great tonic. If people feel unwell and unable to read, they can listen to the words and escape into a great story.”

Milly (Left) and Tasmin Cooke explore the world of The Cat Burglar on Tamsin’s visit to the children’s ward.

To celebrate the National Storytelling Week the hospital is launching a new initiative for volunteers: The Reading Project. The project aims to give patients, particularly those who are finding it difficult to read independently, the chance to enjoy the benefits of reading while in hospital.

Janine Valentine, Nurse Consultant for Older People outlined how reading can have therapeutic benefits for patients:

“We have found that even a short story or poem can help reduce stress and distract patients from their immediate hospital environment. For some of our older patients, particularly those with a dementia, this can be an opportunity to stimulate and improve memory – listening and becoming engaged in a plot, solving a mystery or simply imagining what a character might be wearing can all help our brains be more active.”

On Friday 2 February Babs Horton will be entertaining adult patients with mystery and intrigue from her novel Recipes for Cherubs.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for The Reading Project please contact Amy Phelps by email:

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