Readers' letters

Get children reading

Friday, 9th September 2016, 3:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:24 pm
Could you help inspire children to read? A charity is seeking literacy volunteers, see letter

Today is the 50th celebration of International Literacy Day, we are reminded of the importance of reading when it comes to ensuring children have the skills to reach their full potential.

Yet last year alone, over 63,000 children left primary school unable to read to the expected level.

Low literacy skills can have a devastating impact on the lives of individuals and our communities, and are estimated to cost the UK economy £81bn every year.

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At Beanstalk, we believe that life is better when everyone can read well and express themselves with confidence. That’s why we recruit and train volunteer reading helpers to go into a local primary school and provide one-to-one support to a child struggling with their reading.

Our volunteers change lives – without them, thousands of children would still be struggling to read, and facing all the problems associated with low literacy levels. But we need more reading helpers if we’re to be able to offer this support to all those who need it.

So, as the new school year starts, we’re recruiting a new class of Beanstalk reading helpers.

Visit or call 020 7729 4087 to find out more about our work, sign up as a reading helper if we work in your area or find out about the other ways in which you can support us.

Ginny Lunn

Chief Executive of Beanstalk, the literacy charity


Install CCTV in abattoirs

Recent developments leave the Government with no choice but to make independently monitored CCTV mandatory for all slaughterhouses.

Animal Aid’s undercover investigations have already found that nine out of ten randomly chosen UK slaughterhouses were breaking animal welfare laws.

Unpublished official data released to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have now revealed that more than 4,000 severe breaches of animal welfare regulations took place in British slaughterhouses over the past two years. An independent report – commissioned by Animal Aid and authored by a team of academic experts – has recently found that compulsory, properly monitored CCTV in English slaughterhouses is both cost-effective and feasible.

Slaughter can never be cruelty-free, but independently monitored CCTV would help to protect animals from gratuitous violence in their final moments.

The Government is running out of excuses, and must now act without delay to introduce legislation on this vital issue.

Isobel Hutchinson

Head of Campaigns

Animal Aid


He should know better

Regarding the incident about Jeremy Corbyn sitting in the passageway on a train, as an ex-railway person, Jeremy Corbyn should know that the purchase of a ticket only guarantees passage from point A to point B, rather than guarantee a seat. He should have known this before undertaking his rail journey, which he has probably taken many times before.

Don’t use this as a platform to deride the efforts of rail companies and their staff who work hard and put up with abuse on a daily basis, often quite vile and physical. As for the video of him sitting there, I feel that was man-managed. Think of the rail workers rather than point-scoring.

Anon via email