Founder and Director, The Reader Organisation
Having left school at 16 with just two GCSEs to her name, Jane proved her strength and commitment to achieving something more when she made a return to education, gaining a First Class Degree, followed by a PhD, from the School of English at the University of Liverpool.
After many years of University teaching, Jane set up The Reader Organisation in 2008 with the aim of creating a reading revolution. The Reader Organisation works across the UK ensuring that great pieces of literature – Shakespeare, Chekhov, Milton, Mitch Albom and Frank Cottrell Boyce – reach the hands and hearts of people who can benefit from reading them.
Jane's pioneering idea of creating “shared reading” – people meeting weekly to read a book aloud together – has found avenues as diverse as staff development and corporate CSR and rehabilitation centres to public libraries and NHS wellbeing services.
In 2011, Jane was awarded an MBE for services to reading and was named the UK's 20th Ashoka Fellow in January 2013.