Many different skills are needed to run a successful Read Easy group, so if you are interested in making a difference, you will almost certainly have something to offer.
Join your local management committee team
Being part of a Read Easy committee can be great fun, so if you’re interested, do contact your local group to find out what opportunities they have. Each member of a local committee takes on specific responsibilities to ensure that the group reaches and supports local adults wanting to learn to read. Specific roles include: Literacy Specialist, Venue Organiser, Publicity Organiser and Fundraiser – full guidance is provided for those willing to take these roles on. For many roles, all that is needed is enthusiasm, commitment and some spare time. A Data Protection Officer and Safeguarding Champion for her group writes: “I find the experience of being a Read Easy Committee member rewarding and enjoyable. We are making a difference to people who struggle with a lack of literacy. We train Coaches to introduce them to the wonders of reading, and hopefully improving their lives for ever.I cannot imagine not being able to read, and am sad how many adults are struggling. Hopefully with the increase of Read Easy Groups like ours, this will improve “.
Become a Coordinator
This can be a most rewarding role and also the most time-consuming. The Coordinator is the person responsible for enrolling adults who want to learn to read, interviewing volunteers, pairing them with new readers, and then providing ongoing support and oversight. Volunteers for this role need to have strong people and organisational skills and the equivalent of a couple of days a week to spare. This is what one writes about her experience: “I have found being a coordinator for Read Easy to be a rewarding way to enrich my life and help others improve theirs. A privilege to work with so many wonderful volunteers who selflessly give their time to enable adults who struggle to read develop skills that can improve and enhance most areas of their lives.”
Become a reading coach
Anyone who can read fluently themselves and has the time to spare can apply to become a Read Easy volunteer reading coach. No special qualifications are required, as the reading scheme is designed for anyone to use. Once accepted by a local group, volunteers are required to attend an Initial Coach Training day before being paired with a new reader. This is followed by a Consolidation Training day after volunteers have started coaching. Reading coaches are asked to commit to meet regularly with their reader twice a week for only 30 minutes at a time.
Becoming a reading coach can be a life-changing experience for the volunteer as well as the new reader, as they watch the transformation that can take place. One of our coaches writes: “After spending many years working in the community with great organisations I have now found complete satisfaction. Joining Read Easy allows me to work one-on-one with someone who’s life I can change for the better almost from day one by giving a just little time”.
Read Natalie’s account of being a reading coach on our Testimonials page: http://readeasy.org.uk/testimonials/
Become a Pioneer
If you are really interested in getting involved in Read Easy and there is no group in your area, you might like to consider starting a group yourself. To find out more about what is involved, please see our Start a new group page.
One of our Pioneers has gone on to be the enthusiastic Chair of Read Easy Torbay and she writes:“Being Chair of Read Easy Torbay is an amazing and inspiring journey and gives me a long searched for sense of fulfilment. It is a joy to work collaboratively with the wonderful volunteers on the Committee, our Coordinator and the Reading Coaches. It is also fantastic to be part of such a life changing project. I have met many inspiring and interesting people and it has provided the opportunity for new experiences such as public speaking and networking”.