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Read Easy Ipswich formed to help adults improve literacy skills

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 January 2018

Read Easy Ipswich will help adults with their reading skills. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Read Easy Ipswich will help adults with their reading skills. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Anya Berkut

A new scheme to help adults with their literacy skills is being launched in Ipswich this month, in a bid to turn around statistics suggesting one in six adults struggle to read.

Volunteers will help adults to overcome the difficulties they face. Picture: THINKSTOCKVolunteers will help adults to overcome the difficulties they face. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Read Easy Ipswich is being launched with an open event on Wednesday, January 31, set up by Read Easy UK – a nationwide charity which forms local groups of volunteers to support adults who struggle reading.

The scheme is a partnership between Read Easy UK, Suffolk Libraries and Let’s Talk Reading – an innovative project set up in Ipswich which has helped improve poor reading test results for youngsters in Ipswich and tackles various literacy issues.

John Helleur, co-founder of Let’s Talk Reading, said: “Like all parts of the country, Ipswich has a large number of people who struggle with reading, which makes their lives very difficult and often means that they are unable to find employment.

“They will normally hide this lack of skill, but we feel that everyone has the right to read.

Alison Wheeler, Suffolk Libraries chief executive, said it was important to be able to help those who struggle to read and can often feel isolated. Picture: GREGG BROWNAlison Wheeler, Suffolk Libraries chief executive, said it was important to be able to help those who struggle to read and can often feel isolated. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“Our partnership with Read Easy is one key piece in a set of solutions which we are establishing in Ipswich, and which we hope will eventually enable everyone in the town to read more confidently to help them cope with modern life.”

The scheme will recruit volunteers who will work with adults once a week to help them overcome their reading difficulties, and will be carried out free and in confidence for the reader to be comfortable learning.

Read Easy will train volunteers and is also looking for suitable venues for the sessions to be held.

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “Suffolk Libraries are very pleased this initiative is coming to Ipswich and I’m personally especially keen to support anything which helps people to be more confident as readers as it affects so many aspects of everyone’s life.

“For these adults it can be very isolating and can adversely affect their social mobility. They often hide their problems and may feel embarrassed to join a class, so one to one, confidential volunteer support can be a real life-line.”

Ginny Williams-Ellis, chief executive of Read Easy UK added she was impressed by work already underway, and was delighted Read Easy Ipswich was being set up.

Visit the open event on January 31 at the Waterfront Building from 4.30-6pm to find out more.

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