Do you know someone who has trouble reading? About 2.5 million adults in this country struggle with text, and some only have the reading age of a five year old. Read Easy began five years ago to help such people, and a new branch is beginning work in Wellington.
Retired journalist Alison Weekes has been tasked with starting the group and has organised a public meeting at 7pm on Tuesday, June 28 at Wellington Rugby Club.
“I would love anyone interested in literacy and its benefit to society to come along and see if they might like to be involved in this new charity in some way. The teaching we undertake can be done by anyone who can read fluently themselves, although training is given. And teaching someone to read can make a gigantic difference. It can transform people’s lives,” said Alison.
“The problem is that people hide their lack of reading ability because they are embarrassed by it. They certainly don’t want to go to an adult education class, and this is why Read Easy teaches people on a one-to-one basis. So we need help from everyone in the town to try and identify people who could benefit from coaching. We would like to see family and friends, local businesses and organisations all help us to help them. We hope to have volunteers trained and the branch up and running by early autumn..
” Trained coaches undertake to provide two half hour sessions a week until the client is confident to take their learning further by themselves. Generally this takes about six months to a year. It costs about £120 per reader to the charity and is free to the reader.”
Alison says she has always loved reading and realised during her work on local newspapers that many people obviously found it hard and pretended to read rather than admit they couldn’t.
“It is obviously a deeply embarrassing position to be in and must make life so hard in all kinds of ways.
“To try and overcome this in the town of Wellington we will need volunteers, quiet venues to meet which always have someone around, and fundraising to pay for books and training. We will also need a volunteer co-ordinator to make the whole thing work.
“Most of all we will need to find those who need this kind of help because they do tend to be under the radar. They certainly won’t be reading this!
“To find out more please come to our meeting on June 28, look up Read Easy on the web or contact Alison Weekes at firstname.lastname@example.org“