From an early age, Guy found reading and school in general a challenge. He felt that he was always put at the front of the class but was not sure why.
Later, after leaving school, he went to a local college that was offering literacy classes, but these were in large groups and Guy was not able to concentrate. The sessions felt too rushed and he did not feel able to take anything in.
Guy found a job as a paint sprayer, and for seven years enjoyed his work. But, when the company went into liquidation, he was forced to find another job. Interviews were tough, especially as so many involved filling out forms and questionnaires. Being left in a room on his own to complete these, Guy did not feel able to ask for help.
His decision to try and do something about not being able to read came when, after five years of hiding the fact that he could not read from his live-in partner, he finally got up the courage to tell her that he was struggling.
With her help, Guy contacted his local Read Easy group in Exeter and was paired with his Reading Coach Janet. They met at a library not far from his home. At first, he was very nervous, not knowing what to expect, but over the last eighteen months, he has worked steadily and has already reached manual five – the last manual of the Turning Pages programme.
Despite the pandemic, Guy and Janet have continued to read together online using video calling, each with a copy of the manual they are working on. Janet says, “It has been very easy coaching Guy. He has been so committed to our two half hour a week sessions and works hard. He also has a phenomenal memory!”.
Having been asked to shield during lockdowns, Guy has now been able to start reading letters sent by his doctor – something which previously he would have had to ask for help with. He is also now using a Kindle and has progressed to reading the Hunger Games series, which he is really enjoying.
Guy says, “I get on really well with Janet and we have a laugh. I can’t get away with anything! I feel I’ve changed quite a bit. I do feel more confident. My next challenge is to pass my theory test and driving test. I want to be able to read the questions myself rather than having someone read them to me.”
"I feel I’ve changed quite a bit. I do feel more confident. My next challenge is to pass my theory test and driving test. I want to be able to read the questions myself rather than having someone read them to me.”Guy - Reader, Read Easy Exeter