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Volunteers needed to help adults to read

by Editor

It’s something most of us take for granted – but here in Wigan borough, more than 8% of the adult population are unable to read – and it has a daily impact on their lives.

Now Adult literacy charity, Read Easy UK, is hoping to recruit volunteers from Lowton and Golborne to help local people learn to read and improve their literacy skills.

Wigan Borough Read Easy covers the whole of the Wigan and Leigh area, with readers waiting now to be paired with a reading coach – but there are currently not enough volunteers in the area.

There are a multitude of reasons why some reach adulthood without being able to read but in every case the impact on individuals and their families are massive.

On a practical level, being unable to read, or struggling to read, means that even carrying out everyday tasks can be challenging, if not impossible. Many of the new readers who begin coaching with Read Easy have never been to the doctor as they’re too embarrassed to have to read and fill in forms. Being unable to read and write is often associated with depression, isolation, and even higher mortality. Sadly, statutory provision by local authority adult education does not look likely to improve, with funding increasingly cut, and very little opportunity for those at very early levels.

A conservative estimate is that three million adults in our country are affected. Read Easy hope, with your help, to be able to transforming more lives in the community through their proven, confidential programme of free, one-to-one, volunteer-led adult reading coaching.

The Wigan Borough Read Easy group began offering their free, confidential, one-to-one coaching to adults who need reading support at the beginning of 2023, and they are about to celebrate one of their readers’ graduation.

Sam, who has been learning to read with help from Read Easy reading coach Pat.

Sam, who has been learning to read with help from Read Easy reading coach Pat.

Sam didn’t attend mainstream school because of ill health and as a result struggled with reading. As an adult Sam found aspects of everyday life difficult, as she struggled to pay bills, or read important letters.

“I felt incomplete not being able to read.”

After working with her reading coach, Pat, Sam is so much more confident and is delighted that she is now borrowing books from the library. Sam says of the experience: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and I’ve had fun with my coach.”

Can you help to transform more lives in your area? You’ll be given lots of support, meet a diverse range of people, and be part of a genuinely life-changing organisation. Marianne, one of the group’s coordinators says, “Learning to read really does change lives and being part of that process is special.”

If you’d like to play a key part in helping to transform the lives of adults near you, while developing existing skills and learning new ones in a supportive, fun environment, please get in touch?

How to get involved with Read Easy

If you would like to learn more about how you can help, please contact Wigan Borough Read Easy Volunteer Recruiter, Amy Blackwell at wbrecruiter@readeasy.org.uk.

If you know someone who would like support with their reading please contact Marianne Hare at wbcoordinator@readeasy.org.uk or 07823 895338.

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