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Bupa and National Literacy Trust Inspire Intergenerational Reading

Bupa Global & UK and the National Literacy Trust have partnered to launch Generations of Stories – a new initiative to encourage a love of reading at all ages, boost learning and support mental wellbeing.

The initiative, funded by Bupa Foundation and Bupa Care Services, sees six Bupa care homes across the UK partnering with primary schools in their communities to kick start a lifelong love of reading.

Over 300 care home residents and 250 children will take part in a range of inspirational reading sessions, where professional storytellers will support residents and children to bond over well-loved tales.

One in five 5-8 year olds say they do not own a book of their own, so the partnership will also gift free books to children in disadvantaged areas.

The partnership aims to improve rates of reading for enjoyment, which is linked to educational progress and mental wellbeing]. Similarly, meaningful social interactions and positive relationships have been shown to boost wellbeing in elderly people, stave off loneliness and even possibly slow cognitive decline.

Rebecca Pearson, General Manager of Bupa Care Services, said: “We strive every day to provide the best possible care for our residents, and we know that interacting with children can have a hugely positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Our residents have loved getting stuck into reading new books as well as recommending their favourites from their childhoods, and everyone in the homes is enjoying the energy that children bring and benefiting from a renewed love of reading.”

Anna Russell, Director of the Bupa Foundation, commented: “This partnership aims to bring communities together and promote the benefits of intergenerational relationships while encouraging children to read more and improve their literacy skills. At the Bupa Foundation we have seen the real-world impact of the National Literacy Trust’s work over many years and we’re looking forward to seeing where this partnership takes us supporting the wellbeing of children and our care home residents through the shared experience of reading.”

“Reading is a powerful way to bring people together and reading for pleasure has a huge host of benefits, including supporting both education and wellbeing,” said Nick Oram, Programme Manager of the Young Readers Programme. “Sharing stories and being able to choose your own books from a diverse collection is a crucial part of inspiring children to read, and we’re so excited to put both of those things into practice with Bupa.”