Professor Alison Baverstock awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to military families in the King’s Birthday Honours list

Alison founded the Reading Force initiative in 2010 on a shoestring budget in Aldershot, home of the British Army.

What started as a pilot has gone from strength to strength and today Reading Force is a tri-service charity with worldwide reach. It works to encourage and facilitate shared-reading among serving and ex-serving families to boost communication and keep families connected, whether they are at home together or separated because of deployments, training, or divorce.

The impact has been broad and varied, with families reporting reduced stress, boosted communication, renewed love of reading together, memorable and fun reading and scrapbooking sessions.

Alison’s idea stemmed from her own experience as an Army wife and mum of four, when she discovered she had better phone chats with her deployed husband when they had both read the same book. She turned her own experience into Reading Force: a simple idea with profound meaning for each family who tries and loves the initiative.

For 14 years Alison has maintained and grown Reading Force entirely voluntarily, and this award recognises her deep commitment and loyalty to the well-being of Armed Forces families.

Trustee of Reading Force, Lord David Blunkett, says:

“It is really encouraging that a small charity doing such good work in this field has had recognition for the Founder and driving force, Professor Alison Baverstock. Her own family experience and commitment to family and community has been critical in sustaining Reading Force, including during the pandemic, and engaging so many people in such a worthwhile venture”.

The Reading Force team of eight are very proud of Alison and express their congratulations on receiving the award. Alison says:

“Of course it’s a tremendous honour to receive this award, but I do so on behalf of the team, our staff of nine and then our very involved trustees and patrons. Together we take such care in highlighting the specific situations and needs of military families – and in supporting them. I am very proud of them all – and of what we have built together.”

For information about Reading Force and how they support serving and ex-serving families:

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 55 years ago

Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here