Read Easy gets going in the North West – Planning, Partnerships and a stroll on Blackpool Prom

Our North West Regional Adviser, Vicky, joined Read Easy in May and has enjoyed  meeting potential partnership organisations and volunteers since then. This update includes some of the questions she has encountered on her travels in and around Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire.

In my first two months with Read Easy, I have been reaching out to adult learning and literacy providers, as well as speaking with many potential volunteers in our region. Some of the most common questions I’ve been asked are answered below – I hope they give a flavour of why we are passionate about the potential of Read Easy in the North West and our first steps to establish new groups in the region. If you would like to know more, please get in touch with me! (contact details below…)

Why Read Easy? What do learners get from this approach?
Having worked in learning and volunteer management for the past ten years, I’ve witnessed first-hand the difference that one to one tuition can make for adults and young people alike.

However, in my own experience it was almost impossible to provide personalised support when also juggling the needs of a group or class. Read Easy fills this gap with its free confidential one to one approach; this has encouraged many adults to ‘have another go’ at learning to read and having done so, the clear majority are surprised and delighted by how easily they can learn.

The impact is consistently described as ‘life changing’, with one new Reader summing it up as follows: “I feel part of society for the first time in my life”. With positive testimonials from learners and volunteers alike, with a reflective and proactive staff team, I felt confident that this is a model which could benefit communities within our region, by boosting existing adult learning provision. Read Easy accepts referrals from other agencies and also refers learners ‘on’. We can help by being a first ‘rung on the ladder’ for learners to develop their skills and confidence. Volunteers also tell us that they benefit immensely from knowing they’ve helped to make a real difference –  it’s a win-win situation.

What are the benefits of a Read Easy group for my area?
While Read Easy may be new to the North West, it has a great track record. As the only charity taking a national approach to one to one reading coaching in the community, it has 26 affiliated, volunteer groups, across the South West and Midlands, with more in development. Reading coaching and team management approaches have been refined and developed over the past decade, in close partnership with The Shannon Trust.

How much does it cost?
Since each group raises its own funds locally to train Reading Coaches and provide reading materials, it also makes a Read Easy group a cost-effective addition to provision in many areas where they work. There is no cost of learning to read for each Reader.

Great! Where do you have a group?
We currently have no groups ‘up and running’ but we hope to change this soon. Read Easy aims to work strategically to identify the areas where our one to one approach may be most beneficial. Our North West Region currently includes:
· Cheshire
· Cumbria
· Greater Manchester
· Lancashire
· Merseyside
· North Shropshire
· Staffordshire
· South Yorkshire
· West Yorkshire

We are currently focusing on the urban centres of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, with the aspiration of establishing at least three groups in our first year. The first step has been to meet with existing providers and commissioners to identify if there is a need for additional literacy support in the local area, rather than replicating or aiming to replace existing provision. This has enabled us to identify Oldham, Central Blackpool and The City of Liverpool to pioneer new groups, supported by local library services, adult learning colleagues and third sector organisations. We are also delighted to confirm that we are actively recruiting Pioneers for the City of Manchester and Trafford.

I’m not from one of those areas but I would love to get involved – can I help?
Please do get in touch! It may be that your area would benefit from a group and this could be developed in future, or alternatively you may be willing to travel to support our work in a nearby location. Either way, I would love to have a chat with you.

We hope to move on to review the potential for services in Cheshire, South & West Yorkshire in the coming months and begin to establish relationships in areas of high need.”

How can I find out more and get involved?
If you would be interested in exploring how Read Easy could support learners in your area, or would like to know more about getting involved as a volunteer in the North West, please contact our Regional Adviser, Vicky, for a no obligation chat on 07931 138350 or vicky@readeasy.org.uk. She would love to hear from you.

More news stories

Our first Pioneer in the North West – Read Easy Manchester South

We’re delighted to welcome Debbie Penny as the brand new pioneer... Read more


Successful summer events for Read Easy groups

The wonderful weather this year has encouraged many Read Easy groups... Read more


Local and national coverage for Read Easy’s work

  We are delighted that the inspiring story of Sandra... Read more


Read Easy gets going in the North West – Planning, Partnerships and a stroll on Blackpool Prom

Our North West Regional Adviser, Vicky, joined Read Easy in May and... Read more


Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Our North West Adviser, Vicky, enjoyed a sunny day in Blackpool last... Read more


We are moved and touched by a number of donations which have come... Read more


The Big Noise Chorus in Brixham ‘Let it Shine’

WOW! On 13th June, some of the Committee with Read Easy Torbay went... Read more


Read Easy Cambridge score a scoop on the front page of a local... Read more


Learning to read again after a near-fatal stroke

Every person learning to read has their own story and Read Easy's... Read more


Improving literacy skills with Read Easy Cambridge

John is a young adult who contacted Read Easy Cambridge this year in... Read more


Read Easy begins work in the North West

We are delighted to welcome Vicky Richardson to the Read Easy team of... Read more


“I was a teacher for 17 years, but I couldn’t read or write”.

Read John Corcoran's remarkable story in this fascinating article by... Read more


Read Easy has a feature in the Big Issue

"I kept it from my kids, because I wanted to be the... Read more


Part-time position for Regional Adviser in North West England

Closing date: 9th March 2018 An exciting opportunity to help... Read more


Good news stories from adults learning to read

Good news from our readers comes through regularly, detailing their... Read more


Read Easy’s fifth annual Conference

The Read Easy annual conference on Saturday 21 October was a great... Read more


Read Easy is looking for a new Chair of Trustees

Read Easy UK is currently looking for a new Chair of Trustees,... Read more


Good news from Steve in Winchester

You may remember reading about Steve's progress in learning to read... Read more


A diabetic improves his reading skills

When Nicola Cockell, the Read Easy Coordinator in Barnstaple, visited... Read more


Read Easy Conference 2017

We are looking forward to our fifth annual Conference, which will... Read more


Steve’s Letter

  This letter has been written completely independently... Read more


Learning to read builds self-esteem

The process of learning to read and improving your reading skills has... Read more


The link between good health and literacy

A study of ‘health literacy’ published in the British Medical... Read more


Colchester Arts Centre fundraises for Read Easy UK

[caption id="attachment_3771" align="alignleft" width="155"] Sarah... Read more


Reading is essential to health and safety

One of our readers, who would prefer to remain anonymous, is learning... Read more


Reading coach experiences

Anne's reader is now on the Moving Ahead programme. She talks about... Read more


‘Learning to read changed my life’

The Gillingham News ran a feature on 20 April about the work of... Read more


Read Easy readers speak on film

We are delighted to announce that five short films featuring adults... Read more


  The Project Literacy campaign launched on 12 March.... Read more


Part-time job opportunity with Read Easy

This role has now been filled. An exciting opportunity has come up... Read more


Handwriting success

We are delighted to share news on how Coaches at the Read Easy group... Read more


May 2016

Spring has arrived and so has our latest newsletter, with three... Read more


Poster competition

See our Facebook page for details of our poster competition. Closing... Read more


Lunch with Lord Digby Jones

We are absolutely delighted to report that on Thursday 5th May, Lord... Read more


February 2016

End of year report results are out - thank you! Many thanks to... Read more


January 2016

We wish all our readers and volunteers a very happy New Year and hope... Read more


November 2015

The Autumn newsletter is now available. If you have not already... Read more


October 2015

The Read Easy annual conference on Saturday 17 October was a great... Read more


September 2015

The Autumn has arrived with a blustery flourish and the wonderful... Read more


August 2015

The Summer Newsletter is now available for recent news of reader... Read more


July 2015

New Coordinator needed - are you interested? The Coppetts Wood... Read more


June 2015

Introducing your new Office and Social Media... Read more


May 2015

Our Spring Newsletter is now available with lots of interesting news... Read more


April 2015

Welcome to our blog, which we will update with interesting news from... Read more


March 2015

Welcome to our blog, which we will update with interesting news from... Read more


Read Easy Autumn Conference

On Saturday 18th October, Read Easy held its second conference at... Read more


A Successful Read Easy year! (2012-13)

At the end of September we ask all our groups to return evaluation... Read more


New Pioneers!!

The word is spreading about Read Easy! We now have 10 pioneers... Read more


Buster’s Patch

BUSTER’S PATCH – a new reading opportunity for Read Easy readers... Read more


The First Read Easy Conference 2013

Our first Read Easy Conference on the 19th October was a great... Read more


Sponsored Walk – The Finale

<img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-600 alignleft"... Read more


Follow Sue and Paul’s sponsored walk for Read Easy

<img class="size-full wp-image-555 alignleft"... Read more


Article from Bob Hookins, Barnstaple

I first met with Philip last December when he came to enroll for help... Read more


Sponsored Walk Update

Just a quick update.  Training for the sponsored walk is going well... Read more


The Alternative Coast to Coast Sponsored Walk – 13th September 2013.

  Hi, I'm Sue, Ginny's PA, in the Read Easy Head Office,... Read more


A very special message

One of our reading coaches has recently shared with us a very special... Read more