word cafÉ

young people + professional wordsters = iNSPIRATION and aspiration

Culture Shift is part of a consortium of partners delivering the Read Your Way project, funded by Hastings Opportunity Area and part of the Get Hastings Reading Campaign.  

The Word Café offers an informal space where young people, who struggle with reading, can meet and be inspired by range of professionals for whom language is key to their work.

Sixteen professionals have been involved across four secondary schools whose expertise spans song writing, marketing, scriptwriting, cartooning, creative writing, law, podcasting and journalism. 

The programme builds on our Creative Café model with students doing practical activities with professionals as well taking part in broader discussions and activity around the challenges they encounter with reading and the things that might help. 

88% of young people rated the events very good or excellent. 

'...it has made me want to read more often and work at a radio station'


 'really powerful in terms of engaging students who struggle with engaging with the curriculum. A moment of success in the way it was designed. At the end of the 90 minutes every young person had created something and were able to articulate that and carry that forward with pride. In terms of raising the self-esteem of our students, it was really powerful.'


'It’s so exciting to discover students’ hidden talents, like opening the floodgates and I’ve been delighted by how funny they are. Really witty.'

Literary Professional 

Read Your Way partners include Education Futures Trust, National Social Marketing Centre, FSN, 18 Hours and Hastings Storytelling Festival.  

If you would like to find out more about getting involved with the Get Hastings Reading Campaign, check out the Read Your Way Facebook page