I had been looking for some way to use my skills as a literacy specialist and former teacher in a voluntary capacity and discovered Read Easy as part of a Google search. I contacted Vicky, my nearest Regional Adviser, expecting to be given some adults to work with. It then became apparent that Read Easy was in its infancy in the North West and after a few phone calls with her, some research and a meeting, I was invited to be interviewed for the role of Pioneer!
We are holding our Inaugural Meeting in June, which is very exciting! Our group comprises of men and women from a range of working backgrounds and experiences, between the ages of 27 – 64. Some are retired, some are working but all are driven by an understanding of the importance of reading as a life skill and the desire to give something back to the community.
I am the group’s Pioneer and have applied to be the Coordinator. Being a Pioneer was quite challenging in many ways as it was very much out of my comfort zone and experience. I was anxious about “selling” Read Easy, especially as I was learning on the job. I needn’t have worried; everyone was very helpful and interested.
I enjoy being flexible with my time – I can fit Read Easy work around my other interests and commitments, but mainly I believe what I am doing is very worthwhile and gives me the same sort of purpose in my life as when I was working. I also enjoy being part of a team with a common aim.
To anyone thinking about volunteering I’d say make sure you believe in the aim of the organisation and go for it!