MILLIONS of adults in England struggle with reading, with around 6,000 adults estimated to be in need of help to learn to read across Torbay alone.
A year ago Repair Shop presenter Jay Blades took part in a BBC documentary which followed his journey as he faced up to the challenge of learning to read as an adult with charity Read Easy UK. Thanks to the awareness raised by the documentary, in the last year Read Easy UK have doubled the number of adults they are helping to learn to read across England.
Not being able to read properly negatively affects almost every aspect of day-to-day life – from reading signs and important letters, to voting or being able to understand basic health information. It also makes it more difficult to support your own children’s learning.
This is Karen’s story. She recently graduated through Read Easy Torbay. Karen is mum to four children; she says she joined Read Easy because “I was ashamed that I couldn’t read or write. I struggled all my children’s lives, and when I had my youngest, I wanted to help him learn to read and to help him at school. I started with Read Easy when he was one. Now he is three and I am reading with him.’ Karen explained that her dyslexia was not diagnosed at school and her difficulties were never mentioned to her parents.
She has always worked hard and has even joined some literacy courses over the years but they didn’t teach her to read. Read Easy took her back to basics and filled in all those gaps.
She says she is now not afraid to blend letters into words, form sentences and has gained lots of confidence. Karen is currently working towards her level 3 in food hygiene, something she would never have done without her newfound reading ability.
Read Easy Torbay are passionate about transforming lives in the community through its confidential programme of free, one-to-one, volunteer-led adult reading coaching.
Read Easy Torbay are now looking to recruit more volunteers to help run the programme locally, assisting more people like Karen to learn to read.
Read Easy Torbay Team Leader Anne Taylor says: ‘This is an exciting chance to join a group of like-minded people, putting your existing skills to good use for a good cause.
‘Becoming a volunteer for Read Easy is fun and fulfilling, we know that learning to read really does change lives and being part of that process is special and very rewarding.’
Read Easy Torbay are looking to recruit more volunteers to join their management team, running the programme behind the scenes. We particularly need a treasurer, a networker and also a publicist who is confident with social media, to spread the word!