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Ealing reading charity Read Easy looking for more volunteers to help with its growth across the borough

A charity in Ealing that helps people across the borough improve their reading skills is looking for more local residents to help with its growth.

Read Easy Ealing, which celebrated its second anniversary this month, seeks to change lives by providing free, one-to-one reading tuition for local people.

The group currently supports 40 readers and says it has ambition plans to grow further and needs two volunteers to be on its management team to help support more people.

The two roles are data protection champion to ensure volunteer and reader data is stored correctlly and securely and a venue organiser to liaise with businesses and organisations to find and arrange suitasble venues to hold sessions for reading pairs.

For more details, contact Clare on 07771 596 970 or email: ealingrecruiter@readeasy.org.uk

EALING.NEWS spoke to Catherine Jaquiss, Ealing team leader to find out more about how Read Easy Ealing is doing and what it has achieved in the last 24 months.

Tell us about how Read Easy Ealing has grown?
We had a slow start in terms of our readers, it took longer than we thought to get our name out there. We were all set up in April 21 and ready to go. Our first reader started in August 2021 and by March 2022 we had 20 readers. Over the last 12 months we have doubled in size to 40 readers. In terms of future readers we can grow organically to meet whatever level of need arises.

What excites you about the potential for Read Easy in Ealing?
Knowing how many adults in Ealing struggle to read (studies show that more than 6% or 13,600 adults in Ealing can’t read) and the difference that we can make to people’s day to day lives. There are so many things that readers take for granted, reading can help people to:
Become independent shoppers – of medicines, food and clothing – life’s essentials
Vote in general and in local elections for the first time in their lives
Read books and newspapers and access the internet
Complete online forms
Have the confidence to go to the doctors or opticians for a check up
Increase their confidence and self-esteem, and improve their mental health
Support their children and grandchildren with reading and homework
Use public transport.

So far who has been the youngest adult and also the oldest adult you have helped?
We don’t record people’s ages, but our youngest reader to date has been in their 30s and the oldest in their 70s.

And what age is your youngest adult volunteer to help people read and also the oldest?
Again, we don’t record ages of our coaches, but from discussions we know that our oldest volunteer was 90, she left because she been offered a job as a lecturer, and our youngest volunteer is in their early 20s.

How many weeks/months do the readers get from your team to help them?
The coaching/reading relationship is open-ended, we go at the reader’s pace. Our first reader started in August 2021 and completed the programme in December 2022, other readers can take 2+years.

It has been a great 2023 so far for the group.

Last month, it was announced that Read Easy Ealing is to be one of the beneficiaries of the Chiswick Book Festival. For three years from 2023, alongside Read for Good, the Festival will support Read Easy Ealing and Koestler Arts, a prison arts charity based in East Acton.

Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival told EALING.NEWS: “Read Easy Ealing is one of three new charities we selected for support last summer following our charities review. Because it is very young, we scheduled it for 2023 to give its team more time to establish its work in the community. We’re delighted with its progress, exemplified by the recent visit of Dr Rupa Huq MP who is a great supporter of the Chiswick Book Festival.”

In February 2023, Read Easy Ealing was visited by local MP for Ealing and Central Acton, Dr Rupa Huq.

During a recent quarterly coaches’ get-together, Dr Huq talked with volunteer reading coaches who offer one-to-one tuition to adults who can’t read or have very limited reading ability, heard about some of the learners’ recent successes and was shown the various phonics-based resources that are used by the organisation.

Dr Huq said she was “concerned to learn that more than 6% of UK adults are unable to read or have limited reading ability which equates to 13,600 adults in Ealing who seriously struggle with reading.”

Dr Huq added: “Reading is an invaluable skill that is required for most tasks in our everyday life and many of us take it for granted. Simple errands can soon become a nightmare for someone who can’t read as tasks like using a cashpoint or reading allergy information require literacy proficiency. It is essential that everybody is given the opportunity to learn to read.”

To contact, Read Easy Ealing, click here.

Are you an Ealing resident with a story to share? Or spotted something we should know about?
Get in touch with us by emailing: news@ealing.news or contact us on X @_EalingNews

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