Read Easy Birmingham SE & Solihull
About our group:
Our group has been established since Christmas 2016, offering support within SE Birmingham and Solihull, including: Solihull, Olton, Hall Green, Shirley, Knowle, Dickens Heath, Balsall Common, South Yardley, Acocks Green and Chelmsley Wood. We are currently working with circa 30 Reader and Coach pairs.
However, as the longest established group around Birmingham, we are currently oversubscribed so have a short waiting list for those seeking reading support.
Since 2016, we have helped readers from a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, ages and gender which creates an enriched learning environment and we are regularly contacted by local charities and support services for help. We now have a steady stream of readers self-referring or via friends, family and agencies.
Our team of Coaches are encouraging and supportive, tailoring the reading programme to meet the needs of individual Readers. Coaches normally meet with Readers, but we also have 10 Coach/Reader pairs trialling remote learning.
Our lively and inclusive Management Team are looking to recruit additional members, to manage the increasing number of Reader/Coach pairs. If you’d like to join us see Volunteering Opportunities.
We are all volunteers and have to raise funds to provide training and reading materials. Thank you to our sponsors for helping our Readers gain confidence, independence and employment.
Team Leader, Volunteer Recruiter: Lynn Wilson
Secretary: Viv Taylor
Fundraiser, Data Protection, Safeguarding: Sue Berridge
Publicity, Literacy Specialist: Vron Leslie
Treasurer: Joyce Matthews
Venue Organiser: Digby Rose
Moving Ahead Coordinator: Sally Thornborrow
We will soon be able to offer the Moving Ahead programme, enabling Coaches to offer extended support to our existing Readers.
Thanks to our sponsors for this programme: Heart of England Community Foundation.
Our Coordinator and Coaches who have creatively worked and supported Readers via every type of communication!
We have 6 Readers who have graduated from the Turning Pages programme this year – many congratulations to all of them and to their Coaches. One Reader and Coach share their experience:
Priscilla: “When I first started Read Easy 2 years ago I had no confidence in reading. Rosemary made reading more understandable and fun for me to learn.”
Rosemary: “What I remember the most was laughing while reading and her willingness to learn.”
Our other stories:
B: a young man who worked tirelessly through the programme, managing to pass a number of quite tough work-related exams to secure a new job.
T: a young company owner, who was encouraged by his friend to overcome his difficulties with his reading. T is now a competent and confident reader who enjoys reading bedtime stories to his young child.
P: a determined and energetic young woman who wants to achieve great things in life. Having graduated she has now qualified for and enrolled on a college course.
T: a wonderful elderly man who had lost confidence in reading after a major illness. He showed amazing determination and good humour as he rediscovered his confidence and joy of reading.
E: a retired man, keen to sort out his poor reading skills once and for all so he could read to his granddaughter. He has definitely succeeded in meeting his aim!
S: a determined middle-aged man who needed to address shortfalls in his spelling in order to move into another line of work. He worked hard and with determination to achieve this.
We look forward to seeing some of them on our Moving Ahead programme and wish them all a life full of enjoyable reading.
Coach Consolidation Training Day
A Coach Consolidation Training day in Solihull was well attended this February. Coaches tried out new activities and shared their experiences of coaching. Coaches found the day very helpful and have put a number of new ways of working into practice with their Readers.