Read Easy Bristol
About the group:
Read Easy Bristol is a Charity (Charity No 1186513) that recruits, trains, resources and supports volunteers to work one-to-one with adults who struggle to read.
While we are all volunteers, we keep up a very ‘professional’ attitude towards what we do because of its enormous potential importance to the lives of our readers.
Each new reader is paired with a reading coach. We call them coaches because most of them are neither trained nor experienced in formal adult learning. Experience has taught us, though, that empathy, encouragement and ‘getting on’ is the most effective lever into improving a reader’s confidence to learn.
We are affiliated with Read Easy UK (Charity No 1151288) and from them we receive all of our underpinning support: policies, procedures, resources, etc., which make us so practical and effective an organisation.
Reading coaches receive a 1-day initial training before beginning with a reader, and they are at all times supported by a Read Easy Bristol ‘Coordinator’, whose role is to cover a specific area of Bristol. Our Coordinators are very active in ensuring that coaches are never unsupported. Coordinators are in turn supported by a Management Team, run upon formal Constitutional lines. Each member of the Team has a specific role to play in combining to ensure the best possible learning experience for our readers.
Being able to read means being empowered in your life. There is no effort more important than helping someone to learn in adulthood what many of us were fortunate to learn at an earlier age.
At Read Easy Bristol we are always interested in hearing from people who want to join in with such important work. And we regularly recruit for all positions, as reading coaches, Coordinators, and members of our Management Team.
But do remember if you feel you want to join us, it is a genuine commitment on your part. It would not be fair to begin working with a reader without understanding that you would be committing to meeting them twice each week for 30 minutes each time, and, holidays etc.,m accepted, for at least a year. Similarly, a Coordinator commits approximately one hour each week for each reader/coach pair they look after. So, ten pairs would mean ten hours each week. Quite an ask.
If you feel you’re made of the right stuff and want to get involved, please do email us at Bristol@readeasy.org.uk and we will be very happy to take it from there; often a brief no-commitment chat over a cup of coffee is the best way to start!
Graham Bottrill Chair / Management Team Leader
Tim Wood Secretary and Data Protection Champion
Jill Johnston Treasurer
Mally Henry Safeguarding Champion and Co-Ordinator Support
Gill Clayton North & West Coordinator
Lynda Mansell North & Central Coordinator
Berni Carroll South Coordinator
Andrew Barnes Referrals Networker and Venue Organiser
Rica Newbery Fundraiser
Phoebe Emond and Jan Armstrong Our Literacy Specialists
Tanya Tribbell IT Support
Coach & Reader
We recently received an email from one of our coaches, Helen, who had been working with L for only a couple of months. She reported to me that at the end of the session, L turned to her and with a look of joy said “I am not just sounding this out, I’m reading it aren’t I ?”
And that is what it is all about for all of us.