Way back in time, in September 2010, I attended my first training session in Dorchester to be a Read Easy Coach. My name is Maggie Tidball and I have had the privilege of coaching four new readers.
Now I am going to tell you the story of my last reader, Ben, with his full permission. Ben had been in prison and while there he had had time to reflect and realised that he could kick his drug habits and start afresh. He had received reading support whilst “inside” and wanted to continue. He was in a safe house in Weymouth and the Wardens knew of Read Easy, so Ben came as a very willing new reader.
From the word go, we got on like the proverbial house on fire. Both of us were totally committed and enjoyed our sessions, making rapid progress. Coaches will know this is not always the case, often progressing through blood, sweat and tears!!!
The blow came when Ben heard that he was to return to London, the city where he had first been introduced to drugs. He was understandably fearful that this might put him in situations that would be stressful. With support, he has managed very well being given access to a person who has carried on coaching his reading. Ben has now read two books, is doing voluntary work and hopefully a paid job as well. He has been given a studio apartment and copes with independent living. Some of his family are nearby and are supportive, which is great.
Now, here is the exciting bit, Ben told me that his present reading coach is very interested in becoming a Read Easy coach. So I hope in the not too distant future I will be able to update you on progress made. Carry on this wonderful work you great coaches!
Sadly Maggie died not long after writing her “Happy Story” following a short illness. We share her story in memory of an amazing lady and as a tribute to all our amazing coaches.