Adults who can’t read are being offered free and confidential one-to-one tuition by a group of volunteers in Winchester.
So far Winchester’s Read Easy volunteer group has helped 52 adults and despite the pandemic, are continuing to offer online sessions using Skype or Zoom.
For those who cannot access the internet, the volunteers offer sessions over the phone and when lockdown restrictions were lifted some face-to-face teaching has taken place.
The Chairman of Read Easy Winchester, Alan Stephens, told Winol ‘Learning to read is truly life changing. After only a few weeks readers exhibit increased confidence and self esteem.’
The volunteers at Read Easy use Phonics and a scheme called Turning Pages in their teaching, which Mr Stephens explained was originally ‘developed by the Shannon Trust for use in prisons where an able prisoner teaches a less able one to read.’
Alison, pictured reading to her grandson, contacted Read Easy Winchester for help after 50 years of struggling to read. In her testimonial on the Read Easy website it says that ‘she worked as a carer’ but ‘had always dreamed of becoming a nurse’, as she could not read this was not possible.
However, after working with Read Easy she says she has ‘gained the confidence to read in public and ask questions’ and now ‘reading is finally a pleasure and not a nightmare’ for her.