A CHARITY that helps people to learn to read is celebrating a successful first year.

It is estimated that one in six people cannot read properly.

Read Easy Shropshire Hills which helps adults who struggle with reading has got off to a flying start as it celebrates its first year. In fact, with 10 people learning to read and 16 trained coaches the group has exceeded all expectations.

It’s taken for granted that we all learned to read and write at school, and that we all have the same reading ability. However, many thousands of adults missed out on the opportunity to learn to read at the time when the basic foundations of this skill are acquired.

In fact, research shows that over seven per cent of adults have never learned to read.

That’s a significant proportion of the population who can’t read forms or letters, follow medicine instructions, or read a new recipe for example.

“We’re all aware that many services are difficult to access in rural areas such as ours and that includes the provision of adult literacy education,” said Annabel Stacey, one of the founders.

When I helped to set up Read Easy a year ago it was out of a belief that there was a need for something to be done to help local people who struggle with reading and it’s fantastic that we have free coaching in south Shropshire and the Welsh Borders.”

Read Easy matches up a new reader with a trained reading coach and they work together through reading manuals, at a quiet private location, at a time to suit them both. It’s as easy as that! Reading sessions last half an hour, twice a week. Some people complete the course in as little as a year, while others can take more than two years. What’s important is that everyone can learn at their own pace without feeling rushed. There’s no pressure, and no targets or exams to worry about.

To find out more call 07707 762653 or email shropshirehills@readeasy.org.uk. www.readeasy.org.uk