Fareham couple aims to launch Portsmouth Read Easy group to help adults learn how to read
FOR adults who cannot read, life has become much harder during the pandemic while homeschooling and trying to keep up with government guidance.
Avid book lovers Louise and Adrian Bullivant are working to set up a Portsmouth branch of national charity Read Easy, to support adults in our area to learn how to read.
According to Read Easy, there are around 2.4m adults in England who either cannot read at all or struggle with reading.
A 2011 Skills for Life survey of 16 to 65-year-olds found that five per cent of adults in England could only recognise a few common words.
Louise, from Fareham, said: ‘We believe that there are many adults in Portsmouth who either cannot read at all or can barely read.
‘For them, everyday tasks such as booking a doctor’s appointment, reading road signs or doing food shopping can be incredibly challenging.
‘Life during lockdown has also been particularly hard for those with low literacy skills. Parents who cannot read have found it impossible to home-school their children, while many others have been unable to keep on top of the government’s ever-changing health guidance.’
Read Easy groups offer free and confidential one-to-one coaching from trained volunteers who work through a structured, phonics-based reading programme.
Retired pair Louise and Adrian are aiming to form a committee of enthusiastic people to help move the charity forward in Portsmouth.
Louise added: ‘We feel now is the chance we have got to do something for other people.
‘We both enjoy reading. Having read a little bit more in lockdown, we just thought we’d like to do something.
‘There’s been a lot of publicity about how children who are falling behind need to catch up, I think adults are a bit more hidden because there’s embarrassment about it.
‘A lot of people come to the charity when they become a parent or grandparent so they can read to their children.’
Louise and Adrian are keen to find some enthusiastic individuals who can spare one to two hours a week over the next few months to help establish the group.
No particular skills are needed, just a willingness to help. In particular they would be keen to hear from someone who could be the group’s treasurer.