The Duchess of Cornwall has become patron of an incredible charity that encourages young people to read to the elderly, it has been announced.
Silver Stories was created in 2016 by retired headteacher Elisabeth Carney-Haworth OBE and her husband, retired police sergeant David Carney-Haworth OBE, in response to concerns about the loneliness felt by older people, an understanding of the magic of intergenerational relationships and a desire to develop the love of reading in children.
To mark the occasion, Camilla, 74, listened to two Silver Readers, brother and sister Ollie, 11, and Tegen, ten, from Cornwall, who each read part of a story over the telephone to the Duchess.
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Ollie read The Ice Monster by David Walliams, which the Duchess revealed she had "read quite a lot of times" with her grandchildren.
Ollie told the Duchess that he used to read very quickly but since being a Silver Reader he has stopped doing that.
Camilla admitted to the children: "I used to read very, very fast. When I made a speech, I used to talk very, very fast and then you have to take a deep breath and slow down and look at the commas and full stop."
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The Duchess listened to the children read over the telephone
Praising Ollie and Tegan for getting involved with the charity, the Duchess added: "When you are sitting by yourself you get a bit lonely, don't you? But it must be so cheering for them to hear your voice reading these lovely stories and I think you are doing an absolutely brilliant job."
During term time the children read to the 'Silver Listeners' once a week for around five minutes, reading either a story or poem, boosting their reading confidence, fluency and expression and conversational skills.
The charity currently has eight schools involved in the initiative, who read to 43 listeners and they also have 42 readers who read from their homes to Silver Listeners. The charity currently covers Cornwall, Wales and other parts of England.
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