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Reading coaches needed for new Barnstaple group

20:15 19 August 2012

Read Easy Barnstaple volunteer co-ordinator Bob Hookins.

Read Easy Barnstaple volunteer co-ordinator Bob Hookins.


Read Easy Barnstaple ready to turn the page.

A new group to help adults in the Barnstaple area improve their reading is ready to begin its next chapter.

Read Easy Barnstaple has appointed its first volunteer co-ordinator and is now seeking to recruit the volunteer coaches that will help make the scheme work.

The free service offers one-to-one support for adults who struggle with, or lack confidence, in reading.

Bob Hookins is the new co-ordinator and brings a strong administrative and managerial background as well as a long track record as school governor, parish councillor, church warden and occasional charity speaker.

Mary Beer, chairman of Read Easy Barnstaple, explained how the scheme worked:

“Becoming a volunteer coach is open to anyone who can read fluently themselves,” she said.

“After an initial selection, volunteers will be given training and then matched with learners. They will be given a choice of places to meet so they can choose somewhere that suits both.

“All sessions take place in quiet venues, so people can work without being overlooked, but where there will always be other people around.

“Everyone can work at their own pace, but two or three sessions a week, for about half an hour at a time, would mean you could probably work through the training manual, a book called ‘Yes we can read’, in about six months.”

The Read Easy programme is being developed in North Devon through local literacy charity BookRelief UK.

To find out about becoming a volunteer coach or for more information, contact Bob Hookins on 01271 379747 or email


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