Read Easy is expanding in Oxford!

Read Easy Oxford East is a local community group that supports adults with reading difficulties. Our trained volunteers provide one-to-one intensive coaching over a six to eighteen month period so that people can improve their reading skills. This often helps them to transform their lives in other ways – they may be able to get a better job, sign up for further training, or start to read with their children and grandchildren. We also plan to offer an extension programme of further reading and writing activities tailored to the individual needs of each reader to enable them to move ahead with their lives.

A reader currently learning with Read Easy, who recently celebrated the success of reaching half-way in the programme said: “A certificate is worth dressing up for and having a photo.”

Another reader who recently celebrated his graduation succeeded in writing his own feedback, and said that he had: “Learnt a lot, thank you.”

Another new reader, who has recently become a grandparent, said that he wants to be able to read to his new grandchild.

Due to the success of our work, which began specifically in Blackbird Leys, we are now expanding to encompass the entire Oxford East parliamentary constituency. We will now be working in areas including Headington, Barton, Rose Hill, and Wood Farm, alongside our existing activities in Blackbird Leys. Anyone can refer themselves if they think they need help and many of our readers are referred to us through other agencies. We carry out an independent assessment and aim to match each reader with a suitable coach.

We do not employ any members of staff; all our coaches are volunteers, as are the coordinators and members of the management committee. We have to raise funds to buy the special reading manuals that are given to each reader, train and support the coaches, and reimburse expenses to the volunteer coordinators

Chair Lynn Dowler says: “We are still having young people leaving school without the literacy skills to play a full role in society and have full access to modern technology. Helping anyone of any age achieve the literacy skills necessary to enter the workplace, be good parents or grandparents and be involved in society is very worthwhile and rewarding. You can contribute by becoming a coach or by referring someone who needs our help to us. We are also looking for a volunteer to fill the important role of support coordinator.”

For more information contact Lynn Dowler on: