The group that is changing lives by helping adults learn to read

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Wigan Borough Read Easy 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 didn’t attend mainstream school because of ill health and as a result struggled to read. 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.”

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Sam with her reading coach PatSam with her reading coach Pat
Sam with her reading coach Pat

Wigan Borough Read Easy are looking to help more adults who need reading support. At least one in 14 adults – over 7% of the adult population - in England alone, can’t read or have very poor reading ability. 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 are passionate about transforming more lives in the community through their proven, confidential programme of free, one-to-one, volunteer-led adult reading coaching.

Wigan Borough Read Easy are looking for more volunteers as they have readers waiting to be paired with a reading coach. 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.”

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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, then why not get in touch?

If you would like to learn more about how you can help, please contact Wigan Borough Read Easy Volunteer Recruiter, Amy Blackwell at [email protected].

If you know someone who would like support with their reading please contact Marianne Hare at [email protected] or 07823 895338.

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