Read Easy Winchester

Pat Stephens

Tel: 07731 886036

Email: pat@readeasy.org.uk

About our group:

People are surprised to learn that in the Winchester area

  • 2600 adults can barely read [ simple words only]
  • 1200 adults are struggling to read [short simple sentences]
  • 4800 can only read simple texts which severely limits their job prospects

Read Easy Winchester was set up in October 2015 and has coached over 40 adults to date in reading skills. Our experience has shown that the Read Easy method of confidential one to one tuition where the readers learn at their own pace is highly effective. Learning to read as an adult can be life changing with the increase in reading skills being matched by a corresponding increase in confidence and self esteem

Our readers in Winchester come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds including Africa, China, Syria and Afghanistan as well as England.

If you live locally and feel you would like to be a volunteer reading coach we would be delighted to hear from you. Should you know of anyone who might need help with reading please encourage them to telephone us, or alternatively obtain  their permission to ring us on their behalf.

Group News:

Award winning author becomes our patron

Read Easy Winchester are pleased and honoured to announce that award winning local author Claire Fuller has agreed to become their patron.

Claire has had three novels published and all have either received or been shortlisted for literary awards. Of her last and critically acclaimed novel – Bitter Orange -The Times said  “ a latter-day Daphne du Maurier. A complete page-turner”.

When we first contacted her Claire she said it was serendipitous. She was in the process of editing her fourth novel which amongst other things is about a 51 year old character called Jeannie who struggles to read and write and is set in contemporary England.

The novel will be published in 2021 and because of the obvious connection Claire has kindly offered to publicise Read Easy when promoting her book.

 

Celebratory Event – January 2020

 

Read Easy Winchester celebrated the achievements of its readers on Tuesday 21st January 2020 at St Peter’s Pastoral Centre.

Readers and their family and friends, coaches, sponsors and a representative of Read Easy Uk were all invited to attend. Our special guest for the evening was award winning local author Claire Fuller.

In an update of the group’s activities since the last Celebratory evening in June 2019  Alan Stephens [ Team leader] said that the group currently had 25 pairs working together.

At the request of the readers to meet and talk with each other about their reading journey an event had been held last November [ Costa Coffee at Tesco  had made their café available out of hours and had served unlimited drinks and cakes at a heavily subsidised cost per head.] The evening amongst other things had given Steve [ one of our graduates and now an ambassador for the group] the opportunity to talk about his meeting with Andy MacNab last September and to show the signed copy of his autobiography. Andy is well known as a much decorated SAS soldier and now a world famous author but it surprises people to learn he couldn’t read or write until the Army taught him.

For the evening at Costa one of our graduates from 2018 – Alison – shared with us what she had written about learning to read and what Read Easy had meant to her. She had given Alan permission to read it at the Celebration where it received much applause. Not only is it an emotional story but it is truly inspirational and gives great encouragement to those following in her footsteps.

After Alan had introduced Claire Fuller she talked about her fourth novel which will be published in 2021 and which was so appropriate for the evening, Amongst other things it is about a 51 year old character called Jeannie who cannot read or write.

Claire presented certificates to all those readers present which ranged from Stage 1.6 to Moving Ahead. A special certificate was awarded to Alison who now joins Steve as an ambassador for our group.

A nice surprise to finish the evening was Claire presenting Steve and Alison with a hard copy each of her highly acclaimed novel Bitter Orange.

 

Celebratory event – June 2018

Read Easy Winchester celebrated the achievements of fourteen of its newest readers on Monday 18 June at St Peter’s Pastoral Centre.

Each received a certificate from Barbara Large MBE, Chair of the Hampshire Writers’ Society and patron of the local Read Easy group.

Pat Stephens, the group’s coordinator, said:

‘It was an inspirational evening, with everyone in a celebratory mood. Our newest readers come from diverse backgrounds, including Africa, India, Syria and Afghanistan, as well as England. All, for whatever reason, left school without being about to read.’

Read Easy Winchester has coached 32 adults in reading skills since it was set up in October 2015. Each reader is paired with a trained volunteer who mentors them throughout. Readers learn at their own pace and, typically, it takes between six and 18 months to become a proficient reader.

The effects are often life-changing. As one new reader said during Monday’s celebrations: ‘For the first time in my life, I feel equal to everyone else’.

Special award

Ginny Williams-Ellis, CEO and founder of Read Easy, presented a special award to Steve Scovell, one of the Winchester group’s first learners. Since mastering reading, Steve has been a proactive ambassador for the charity, being interviewed on Radio Solent and speaking to groups about his experience.

Before the closing speech by the group’s Chair, Alan Stephens, there was a cheque presentation by Ruth Kirkby from Tesco’s Bags of Help Community Scheme. This raised £2,000 to support the group’s work, a fantastic achievement.