Read Easy Gillingham and Shaftesbury
About the group:
Our Gillingham and Shaftesbury Group began at the end of 2014 and we were up and running with coaches and a few readers by March 2015. The whole project was pioneered by Jenny Pope who had been with Read Easy as a coach in Dorchester from very early days.
Our geographical range is approximately those towns and villages in the SP7 and SP8 post codes. But people in several of the villages and towns outside those post codes might find that we are their local group, people in Wincanton, Mere, Stalbridge, Marnhull and Sturminster for example.
In our first year we were pleased to have had terrific responses from local charitable groups like the Lions, Round Table and Rotary; both Gillingham and Shaftesbury Town Councils; Dorset Community Foundation. They were all generous with their funds helping us to get off the ground with books and resources. Many other groups, local businesses and people have given their time, their goods, their money, their spare meeting room and their efforts to help us raise money and build local awareness of what we’re trying to do. You will recognise just how massively grateful we are to them all.
Most of our early work has been to match readers to coaches and to raise the awareness of local organisations who might be interested to refer readers to us. To that end our coordinator has done a super job matching the readers appropriately and monitoring their progress. One reader who started in our first wave has finished the programme and received his certificate in November. Also the management team has worked hard to keep our work up in people’s minds. We simply turn up at local fetes and shows with our banner and our presence to talk to people and tell them what we are about. Next year we will do the same only more so.
Possibly our highlight of the year was a very successful Garden Party which was a) lucky with the weather, b) great fun and c) raised about £700 for much needed books, resources and the banner we bought for future events.