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New adult literacy scheme for Melksham

Being able to read is something most people take for granted.

Lesley Windebank, on behalf of the Melksham Read Easy management committee said, “We think nothing of reading signposts when we’re driving, labels in the supermarket or the TV guide when we’re relaxing in the evening.

“It’s easy to forget that some of us aren’t so lucky. 1 in 20 adults have the reading level expected of a five year old. They may be adept at hiding it, saying they’ve forgotten their glasses or that forms are too confusing, but low levels of literacy can make everyday tasks a struggle.

“Read Easy aims to change people’s lives by helping them learn to read. It’s a charitable organisation that offers free, local one-to-one coaching to adults who want to improve their reading. The first Read Easy group was set up in Dorset in 2010 and since then it has been steadily expanding into other parts of the country. A new Read Easy group has just been started in Melksham and is actively seeking people who want to get involved.

“Adults who wish to improve their literacy with Read Easy are matched to volunteers by a coordinator. The coaching is confidential and there are no classes with other readers, which may put some people off. Instead, new readers meet up with their reading coaches one-to-one at approved local venues.

“They can learn at their own pace, using a phonics-based reading manual that has been designed specifically for adult learners. If you or someone you know could benefit from this service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, contact details are provided below.

“Improving your reading skills opens up many opportunities, especially as the internet is now used for a wider range of functions – navigating web pages is difficult if you can’t read very well. When you improve your reading level, you can do more types of jobs – and applying for them is much easier.

“You can access a wider range of education courses and deal with practical tasks like banking and filling in forms without worrying. People who have learnt to read with Read Easy also tend to see improvements in other areas of their lives as they gain confidence and self-esteem.  Many begin to read for their own pleasure, read to their children or grandchildren, and use their newfound skills to pursue other interests.

“Volunteers will be recruited locally and attend training sessions before they are paired up with a reader, and they will receive continued support from their coordinator.

“Volunteering with Read Easy is a rewarding experience for anyone who wants to make a difference to the lives of others and has some time to spare. Read Easy Melksham is now established with a full management committee, but is now seeking someone with strong people and organisational skills to take on the crucial and very rewarding volunteer role of the coordinator.

“Once a coordinator has been appointed, the group will also be looking for volunteers to become reading coaches, as well as for people wanting to learn to read.”

If you would like to become part of this exciting new venture in any way, please contact David Williams for more details on 07939 556541 or email dwmelksham@gmail.com

For further information about Read Easy, please visit the Read Easy website: www.readeasy.org.uk