Billy moved from school to school where he lives in Ludlow but was never given the support he needed to learn to read. At one point he was put in a class with other children who struggled to learn to read and was given crayoning in to do all day – he was effectively written off by the education system. He felt so ashamed of this at the time that he even kept his secret from his parents.
He left school without knowing how to read and as Billy says, ‘without learning a thing’, then went to work on a chicken farm, then in forestry before developing his own successful painting and decorating business.
Billy married, had children and grandchildren, of whom he is very proud. He joined the local Baptist church later in life and was very open with the people he met there about his struggles with reading. It was while at church he found a very close supportive friend who gave Billy a bible saying she wanted him to be able to read in church. It was this friend who encouraged Billy to get in touch with Read Easy Shropshire Hills.
It was during the pandemic when Billy made the decision to learn to read. At the time face-to-face coaching was not permitted, and even though Billy had never used a tablet, and was very nervous, began to learn to read online with Helen his coach.
All of Helen and Billy’s coaching sessions have taken place on Zoom and they like working this way as it is so convenient for them both. Billy describes Helen as a brilliant teacher and wishes someone like her was around all those years ago.
Naturally, he is proud of his achievement and receives lots of positive encouragement from his family and friends who are just as proud of him. Now when he goes to bible reading groups Billy takes part, fulfilling the promise he made to his friend, who passed away recently, knowing that Billy was proving to himself it is never too late to learn to read.
Billy describes Helen as a brilliant teacher and wishes someone like her was around all those years ago.Billy - Reader, Read Easy Shropshire Hills