Stratford Literary Festival

Can you help us reach out to older people who feel lonely and isolated?

This year Stratford Literary Festival is launching Books with Friends, a book group for people who are 55 plus and may feel lonely or isolated for any number of reasons - through bereavement, illness or simply losing touch with their family and friends.

We need your help to find these people and to encourage those that are interested in books and reading to come along to a book group, and meet new and like-minded people.

People can participate in Books with Friends in one of two ways:

·      They can attend a monthly meeting in a venue in Stratford town centre to chat about a book they’ll have been told about and read in advance. As well as discussing the book, members can enjoy refreshments and the chance to chat.

·      They can take part in a monthly book group conference call on the phone: ideal for people who are unable or unwilling to leave their home for a meeting. Again, this group will discuss a book they have been told about and read in advance.

Both groups will be lead by enthusiastic, experienced facilitators. There will be no pressure to produce amazing literary insights. The focus will be a shared enjoyment of books with likeminded people, and meetings will be friendly, informal and fun.

The books we’ll talk about will be readily available at the library and, thanks to the generous support by the Town Trust, Books with Friends will be free to join and books, audio books and listening devices will be loaned to members free of charge where necessary. We can also help with transport where necessary.

The Festival is working in partnership on this project with Home Instead Senior Care, Age UK Warwickshire and its Befriending Project, Listening Books, Welcombe Community Radio, Powwownow – conference calling, Warwickshire Libraries Service, and the Bardstown Writing Group.

Please help us offer an uplifting and inspiring experience by telling people about Books with Friends.

You or interested members can contact us on 01789 470185 or at

A bit about us
Books with Friends is part of an active Festival outreach programme that includes events in schools, colleges, prisons, residential care homes and other community settings. Since it was launched eight years ago, the Festival has developed into one of the most successful regional literary events in the country. We believe that all local people should be able to take part in an event celebrating the written word.