MP praises volunteers tackling town’s illiteracy

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage at the launch of the We CAN Read website, in Gosport
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage at the launch of the We CAN Read website, in Gosport

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A NEW website has been launched to help people who struggle to read.

We CAN Read is run by volunteers from the Discovery Centre, in Gosport.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage last week launched the site, which aims to develop reading, and is ideal for learners with dyslexia or for anyone who has received inadequate reading tuition in the past.

The co-ordinators of the scheme believe a website is now essential to get the message across to those who may know someone who needs help to read.

Co-ordinator Linda Curtis said: ‘It takes a very brave person to come forward and admit to not being able to read.

‘We need help from their loved ones, friends, colleagues and work-mates to bring them along to meet us so we can discuss the best way to help them improve their quality of life.’

It is believed around one in six people over the age of 16 in the Gosport area have little or no reading skills.

Ms Dinenage, giving her full support for the scheme and cutting a ribbon to launch the website, praised Libby Coleman and Nick Ainly for their outstanding achievement in helping to improve literacy levels with their publications.

They are the authors of Yes We Can Read, which is used by the group to teach people to read.

She also praised the many volunteers who help to make the scheme in Gosport and Fareham a success.

It is the first group of its kind to tackle the problem of illiteracy on a one-to-one basis. She added: ‘The gift of reading is one of the most remarkable gifts you can give anybody.’

The scheme provides one-to-one coaching by volunteers and runs at the speed the new reader dictates with no pressure to reach targets.

Success could be when the final page is reached and the reader’s confidence has soared. The coaching can be arranged at a time and frequency to suit both reader and coach. It normally takes place in a public area such as the Discovery Centre.

For details go to wecanreadgosportfareham.co.uk.