Two Business students have been using their valuable spare time to visit local hospitals and read to elderly patients, in support of a national shared reading initiative.

Coleg Llandrillo classmates Josh Mantle, 19, from Abergele and Josh Jones, 21, from Llandudno Junction, were involved in several sessions at Colwyn Bay and Llandudno hospitals, reading poems and short stories to up to 30 patients in total.

Josh Mantle said:

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience; especially putting smiles on the elderly patients' faces. We read whatever the individual patients were interested in.

Their activities also went towards the 'Community Challenge' module, which is part of their Welsh Baccalaureate qualification.

Patients' comments included:

Very pleasurable, it makes you think about something different. Very nice readers, too!

I enjoy poems being read to me rather than reading myself. It was very interesting. I enjoyed it.

It was very nice listening to a story off these two young men.

One of the pair's tutors, Stephanie Harding, said:

This important project was a wonderful way to enhance the public speaking and interpersonal skills of the students, whilst providing company and entertainment to the elderly in hospital.

The caring duo organised the patient well-being sessions in support of the national charity, 'The Reader', whose mission statement is 'bringing people together and books to life.' The registered charity - which has its headquarters in Liverpool's Calderstones Park - has been active since 2008.

'The Reader' has pioneered the use of shared reading to improve well-being, reduce social isolation and build resilience in diverse communities across the UK and beyond. It inspires and supports people to read great literature aloud together. This simple idea changes lives and builds communities.

Groups the charity works with include people in recovery from substance misuse, prisoners, individuals living with dementia, parents, teachers, people with mental and physical health conditions, and many more.

For more information on courses in Business at Coleg Llandrillo, please contact the Learner Services team on 01492 542 338 or visit