Learn To Read for free with Read Easy

3 March 2020

It can be taken for granted that we all learned to read and write at school, and that we all have the same reading ability. However, many thousands of adults missed out on the opportunity but its never to late to learn!

Read Easy was founded in 2010 by Ginny Williams-Ellis. She had previously worked at Dorchester Prison where she was responsible for running their prisoner-to-prisoner reading programme. She had noticed that readers made much better progress when they were taught on a supportive one-to-one basis, rather than in a group classroom environment, and recognised there was a massive need for a similar scheme in the wider community.

Read Easy now has 34 local groups across England, with hundreds of people learning to read every year with the help of our trained volunteers.

The following is information about one Read Easy group in Shropshire that has had a very successful first year.....

It can be taken for granted that we all learned to read and write at school, and that we all have the same reading ability. However, many thousands of adults missed out on the opportunity to learn to read at the time when the basic foundations of this skill are acquired. In fact, research shows that over 7% of adults have never learned to read.

It’s hard to imagine the impact of not being able to read.  In practical terms, this means that non readers struggle even to do their food shopping, use cash points, read bus timetables or understand health warnings.  Going to the doctor, filling in forms or engaging with the benefits system can all be overwhelmingly challenging. 

Finding work – particularly rewarding work – can also be very difficult if you can't read well.  Although people often develop coping strategies, many adults with low literacy experience get anxious in situations when they may be asked to read, as a result they might stop going out which leads to loneliness and low self-esteem and often poor mental health.

It’s never too late to learn!

steve holding his certificate

Photo (c) Read Easy – Steve proves it’s never too late to learn to read.

Read Easy Shropshire Hills provides free one-to-one coaching for adults in the South Shropshire and neighbouring Welsh Borders area who struggle with reading. 

Many people will want to learn to read but feel too embarrassed to seek help, which is why this coaching service has been designed to help new readers feel as comfortable as possible about taking the brave step to learn to read.

Read Easy matches up a new reader with a trained reading coach to help them work together through reading manuals, at a quiet private location, at a time to suit them both. It’s as easy as that!

Reading sessions last half an hour, twice a week. Some people complete the course in as little as a year, while others can take longer. What’s important is that everyone can learn at their own pace without feeling rushed. There’s no pressure, no targets and no exams to worry about.

Learning to read transforms people’s lives. Through learning to read people grow enormously in confidence, self-esteem and independence as well as being able to navigate through the world of the written word.

Here’s an extract from a letter Steve featured in the main photo sent to Read Easy about his experience:

‘It has changed the way I do things, my life. It’s given me the courage to go out and do different things, not just reading and writing but going out on my own and mixing with the public.

Five or six months ago I would never have done the things I’ve done, like joining the library, reading newspapers, going on public transport and going to coffee shops and the supermarket.’

How to get in touch

Read Easy Shropshire Hills covers the towns of Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Bishops Castle, Clun and Knighton, so if you know someone who struggles with reading contact Amana Winchester in confidence on 07707 762653 or email her at shropshirehills@readeasy.org.uk.

To find a Read Easy group near you visit:www.readeasy.org.uk

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