Read Easy Basingstoke

To learn to read contact: Yvonne Hedgcock (Basingstoke and Deane)

Tel: 07592 450789


To volunteer contact: Joanne Barnett


About our group:

We set up Read Easy Basingstoke in August 2019 to cover all areas coming under Basingstoke & Deane District Council.  We trained our first Volunteer Coaches in September 2019 and they are now all paired up with readers.  We are now in the process of training our second group of Volunteer Coaches.

Please do get in touch if you know of anyone who struggles to read and who would benefit from our help, or if you would like to volunteer.

Jane Ford – Team Leader
Tel: 07899 986 456
Lindy O’Callaghan – Deputy Team Leader, Publicity and Referrals –
Malcolm Ferguson – Secretary, Data Protection and Safeguarding Champion
Aaron Ford – Treasurer
Jay Ganesh – Venue Organiser and IT
Sarah Sokoloff – Coordinator Admin Support
Literary Specialist – Brenda Clark
Josh Taylor – Fundraiser –

Group News:

Management Team News

We are delighted that Josh Taylor has joined us a Fundraiser, and Erica Shaw will take on responsibility for Training our volunteer Reading Coaches.

For the first time since we set up, in August 2019, we do not have any vacancies on the Management Team!  However, Jane is always keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in joining and enhancing our Team.  She will very easily find you a role!

Coaches & Readers

New opportunities have come with lockdown, in that it has opened up a whole new way of coaching.  Our new Volunteer Coaches have been training online with Read Easy Trainers.  This means that training sessions can take place more frequently and without any travelling involved.

In the recent lockdown, coaches and readers who have felt comfortable have continued to meet face to face for their coaching sessions, following strict COVID secure guidelines. Readers who feel sufficiently confident, have been doing their coaching sessions online with tablets which we have supplied, or otherwise on phones.   It will clearly be some time before life takes on a semblance of normality and we have more tablets available that we can lend to readers so that they can start their coaching so please get in touch if you know someone who might benefit from this.

We have had a few new Readers still coming forward, despite the circumstances, which is excellent.  If you know someone who has difficulty with reading, do please put them in touch with us.  We are now in the fortunate position of having freshly trained coaches who are very keen and ready to help, and systems in place to allow for safe coaching. With 2.4 million adults in England, and at least 7,000 in Basingstoke, who cannot read at all or who can barely read, we know there is a huge need for our service.

Here is a quote from a Coach:

in second lockdown ……we both have manuals and we are now doing sessions over the phone. It is working surprisingly well – we know how the sessions go – we have a clear routine so it flows easily. Joelma has made fantastic progress and is now on the last manual – manual 5’

And her Reader:

I have learnt a lot of things during this time. It’s been important for me to learn the sounds of all the vowels. I feel more confident to read to my children. Claire is brilliant- she has lots of ideas.’


Those of you who have volunteered to be coaches, and are waiting to be trained, please don’t give up on us.  Your time will come!  We have been so fortunate in Basingstoke to have had a huge number of potential coaches volunteering and will be arranging further training sessions.


We are very grateful to the following for their help:

Vivid Housing for providing funds for the cost of tablets so that online coaching could go ahead and also to Mike Duffin for taking the time and patience in setting them up and explaining to the Readers and Volunteer Coaches how to use them.