Lyn was unaware as a child that neither her mother or father were confident readers. So, when Lyn herself found learning to read difficult at school her parents were unable to help.
Support at school was patchy too. “At my first school I was taken out of class with a few other children to practice my reading but when I moved to another school I didn’t receive any extra help at all. I just accepted that I would not be able to read.”
After leaving school Lyn trained as a hairdresser and manicurist. In order to pass her exams the invigilator read through the questions and wrote down her answers as Lyn struggled with these tasks. When she married, her husband took charge of all the bills and paperwork.
They had a daughter, but Lyn was unable to read bedtime stories to her or help with any schoolwork. Her husband encouraged Lyn to learn how to read but there was little urgency on her part. It was only when he died two years ago that Lyn realised she would have to read in order to manage bills and letters.
She told her friend, Monica, that she needed help. Monica had been waiting for Lyn to ask and already had the phone number for Read Easy Poole. At the age of 72 Lyn was introduced to her volunteer reading coach, Steph. They have proved to be a dream team, with Lyn the model student.
Eighteen months later Lyn has obtained the skills and confidence to undertake the everyday reading and writing tasks that most people take for granted: cards to and from friends and family, shopping lists, menus, road signs and TV listings. She enjoys reading books, writes notes to her neighbours and was thrilled to be able to help someone in Tesco who wanted a product. She looked at the signs and directed the person to the correct aisle.
Lyn says, “Steph and reading has made my life so much better. I look forward to my homework, whether it’s reading books, doing wordsearches or dictionary work.
It really made lockdown easier for me. Like they say, you are never too old to learn.”
Steph says, “It has been and continues to be such a joy to work with Lyn, despite the pandemic and the challenge of coaching and learning remotely using a landline ‘phone.
Lyn’s rapid progress in both reading and writing is down to her infectious enthusiasm, ‘can do’ attitude and willingness to undertake homework. Who wouldn’t want to go that extra mile for such a student? She certainly keeps me on my coaching toes! We are both looking forward to the time when we can resume our sessions in person; you cannot beat sitting side by side when trying to get to grips with the intricacies of the English language, and we do like to have a laugh together too.
I asked her what she thinks her husband would think of her being able to read. Her reply was, “He would be so pleased and chuffed to bits.”
"It really made lockdown easier for me. Like they say, you are never too old to learn.”Lyn - Reader, Read Easy Poole