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Ealing reading charity Read Easy set to grow with support from Chiswick Book Festival

A charity in Ealing that helps people across the borough improve their reading skills is to be one of the beneficiaries of the Chiswick Book Festival.

Read Easy Ealing, which is celebrating its second anniversary in April, is a charity that seeks to change lives by providing free, one-to-one reading tuition for local people.

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.”

Mr Douglas added: “We now look forward to working closely with Read Easy Ealing to help raise their profile, and to bring the reading communities in Ealing – bookshops, libraries, readers and volunteers – closer together, as we have in Chiswick.”

According to Read Easy, its vision is “for all adults in the borough of Ealing to have the literacy skills they need to realise their potential and live their life to the full.”

Team leader of Read Easy Ealing Catherine Jaquiss, told EALING.NEWS:”We’re delighted that the Chiswick Book Festival has chosen us as one of their charity partners for 2023. With their support we will be able to raise awareness of Read Easy Ealing, reach more potential volunteer coaches and, most importantly,  help many more people locally who struggle to read improve their literacy.”

Ms Jaquiss explained more about the group she founded the Ealing branch: “We were established in April 21 and are currently working with 30 readers. By the end of our second year we’re expecting the number to have grown to 40. Our reading pairs meet in 16 different venues across Ealing and surrounding boroughs.”

Ms Jaquiss added: “We average 5 referrals a month. We take referrals from agencies and charities across the borough and from potential readers, their friends, or their families.”

Last month, Easy Read 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.”

As well as encouraging more people to sign up if they wish to improve their reading skills, Read Easy Ealing is looking for more volunteers to help with being a reading coach.

To contact, Read Easy Ealing, click here.

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