Nicky volunteers as a Reading Coach for our Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester group.
Why did you decide to become a Reading Coach with Read Easy?
“I’ve always loved reading and stories and I can’t imagine how we could navigate the world without being able to read. It must feel very excluding. I think it’s a superpower we take for granted”.
What sort of training and support do you receive?
“We had training with Read Easy and then ongoing back-up support from our Coordinator and further Coach meetings. And the coaching handbook and resources are invaluable”.
How long have you been doing this?
Since Read Easy Wythenshawe started recruitment. Goodness, it must be nearly a year now”.
How much time does coaching take up in a typical week?
“I do some preparation for two half-hour sessions with my Reader. So about two hours a week, perhaps a little less”.
Can you describe a typical session with your Reader?
“Before lockdown, we met in the library, had a bit of a chat about parts of the sessions my Reader may be struggling with, then we worked through the progress page for that session. I mixed it up with a fun game related to their interest, like cooking, and sometimes put my Reader in charge of practice at the end of the session”.
Can you tell us how you are managing to carry on coaching since lockdown started?
“We’ve been using WhatsApp. I type words and short sentences from the Turning Pages manual that I use to coach with. My Reader reads them out and records it, so I get a voice message. Then I send her a voice message to let her know if she’s on the right track or needs help with particular words. It was very effective and kept us going for weeks”.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
“It has to be the progress my Reader makes and the feedback when they say they’ve been able to read a sign or words and short sentences whilst shopping or getting the bus”.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about applying to become a Reading Coach?
“It’s very rewarding to help an adult to read and Read Easy is a lovely charity. You’ll get excellent support from the team of Coordinators and other Coaches.”