Read Easy launched in Basingstoke last July to provide a free, confidential, one to one coaching service for adults who, for whatever reason, are unable to read or who struggle with their reading. We have had a very busy time with the initial recruitment and training of volunteers for coaching and our management team, as well as publicising our service to help those adults in the area who are in need of it.
The sad reality is that 2.4m adults in the UK cannot read, while 2.5m struggle to read, an estimated 7,000 in Basingstoke alone. On a practical level, this means that even carrying out everyday tasks can be challenging, if not impossible – for example, never going to the doctor as it is too embarrassing to have to read and fill in forms. Being unable to read and write is often associated with depression, isolation, homelessness, crime, low self-esteem and mental health issues.
Last weekend was a milestone for us – we were delighted to have our first two readers complete manual one and are they are now moving onto the second stage of our phonetically based reading programme. We are so proud of them for working so hard and achieving so much in such a short time. They were both absolutely delighted to be presented with a certificate for their achievement, and described in very moving terms the difference that being able to read has made to their lives.
If you know anyone over 18 who is unable to read or who struggles to read, do please encourage them to make contact with us either by phone on 07952 450789 or by email basingstoke@readeasy. org.uk We are here and have trained coaches ready to help.