Beanstalk inspiring the next generation to love reading

Anita Foster and Lucy Sobey of Beanstalk
Anita Foster and Lucy Sobey of Beanstalk

A charity in Shropshire which helps get children reading is looking to double the number of youngsters it supports during 2016.

Beanstalk recruits and trains people to help children who are struggling with their reading in schools across Shropshire – and the charity is undertaking a major recruitment drive.

As well as reading, volunteers play educational games and help children improve their conversational skills during one-to-one sessions at schools.

Volunteers who are passionate about reading are the lifeblood of the charity, and Beanstalk currently has 130 people in Shropshire who hold sessions with more than 400 children.

Lois Breen, of Beanstalk, said there was a big demand for the service and the aim was to double the number of children being supported by the charity.

She said: “Spending time reading one-to-one with children is a lovely thing to do and our volunteers say it is a hugely rewarding role.

“In order to expand our service and help more children learn to read, we need more volunteers.

“We are looking for people with a passion for reading who can give some of their time to help inspire the next generation of readers.

“One of our reading helpers recently told us that volunteering with Beanstalk was one the best things she had ever done, which was great to hear and just shows what a fulfilling role it is.

“It would be fantastic if we could double the number of children we are currently supporting across Shropshire. The need is there, so we are aiming to do as much as we possibly can.”

Beanstalk is also looking to work with businesses, and Miss Breen said the charity was eager to discuss various possibilities with anyone interested.

“We are seeking to connect with businesses in various ways, which would be beneficial to us as a charity and the businesses involved,” she said.

“Undertaking charity work is often a priority for businesses’ corporate responsibility programmes, so we would be more than happy to hear from anyone who would like to discuss the possibilities.”