Newbiggin: Reading for Health and Wellbeing

A project funded by Ann Cleeves, best-selling author of the well-loved TV drama Vera.

Northumberland Library Service and Northumberland County Council have teamed up with UK Health Security Agency, Newcastle and Northumbria universities and community organisations to launch this one-year scheme to see how reading can improve the health of people with chronic pain, anxiety, depression and for those who may be socially isolated. A team of nine Reading Facilitators have been appointed across the North East and we are lucky enough to have two here in Newbiggin!

Ann said: “Books and reading provide a wonderful outlet for people by offering escapism, joy and entertainment. Vera is 21 this year and this project is her birthday present to the region that created her”.

Ann is passionate about the benefits reading brings to the mind and to the body:

  • Whilst you’re reading the latest murder-mystery; you might just stop thinking about that niggling back pain that just won’t ease and think more about – who done it!
  • That dreary day that’s making you feel sad.??? Well – it might just disappear whilst you’re reading about the wonderful world of wizardry that is Harry Potter or the constant mishaps of the endearing Miss Bridget Jones!!
  • How nice would it be to escape from daily chores, a mundane job, screaming kids and escape to Wonderland, jet off on an adventure or immerse yourself in mythical worlds not of our own!!!

No one’s saying reading can cure illness or disease, but what it can do is provide a much-needed period of rest and relief! So, whatever makes you laugh, entertains you or interests you – why not come to one of the sessions in Newbiggin or contact the team for a one-to-one discussion.


Call: 07966 330372 or email:

Current Sessions

Newbiggin Learning Hive, 44 East Lea 
Every Monday (except Bank Holidays)

  • 10.30 – 11.30am: Family Storytime
  • 1.30 – 2.30pm: Friendship & Stories (ages 16+)

Newbiggin Community Arts Centre, Gibson Street 
2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month

  • 10.30 – 11.30am: Family Storytime

Newbiggin Arts Centre, Front Street

  • Tuesdays 10.30-11.30am: Friendship & Stories (ages 16+)

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