A BIG-hearted Greenock mum and daughter team are helping to alleviate loneliness in lockdown by encouraging people to get reading.

Julie McFarlane Bell and her daughter Kayla, six, have set up their own online book clubs on Facebook.

Julie, who is studying to be a children's nurse, was inspired to start up the discussion groups after taking on a job selling children's books.

From her interaction with parents online, she realised that people were bored and fed up and needed something to keep them occupied.

Julie, 32, set up her own club first - New Chapter by Julie - and Kayla's Book Club followed.

The businesswoman says she's thrilled by the response she's received so far.

Julie said: "I found out more about books through my job and developed a passion for them.

"I thought it would be a good idea to set up a book club to share how inspiring they can be.

"People have been shielding again and not getting out and about.

"We all get to know each other in the club and it really helps improve our mental health.

"We have a wee chat about the books and about life in general."

One of the recent books up for discussion was My Secret Lies With You, by Faye Bird.

Participants get the chance to read a new title every four weeks and buy the books for a small cost.

Julie, who is mentored by Port Glasgow woman Rebecca Lennon, makes sure the club gives back to the community.

She recently donated books to the Matthew Woodman charity foundation and raised money for Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow.

Julie decided to set up the children's book club after parents mentioned how much youngsters were enjoying reading in lockdown.

She says that reading helped keep her daughter Kayla focused on her home schooling and she's keen to share her insights with other parents.

She added: "Kayla is a big reader and books have been great for keeping her in a routine.

"Books help us to escape from the world for a wee while, and help us to focus when we come back."