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SummaryAre you looking to make a difference in someone's life? As a reading coach you will support adults to learn to read.
Read Easy UK is a registered charity that works through affiliated local groups to provide one-to-one reading coaching to adults, using trained volunteers. By enabling people to tackle their reading difficulties, Read Easy also allows each individual to grow in confidence and self-esteem, become more independent, move on to other forms of education if they wish, and improve their employment opportunities. Each affiliated Read Easy group is run entirely by
volunteers and aims to provide interesting and rewarding opportunities to all involved to help change lives for the better. To read more about the difference that Read Easy makes, please
see the Testimonials page on our website.
‘Initial Training’ and starting coaching
As a volunteer Reading Coach, you will receive two one-day training sessions. The Initial Coach Training day will introduce you to some of the issues faced by adults with reading problems, how to use the reading manuals, how to establish an appropriate relationship with
your new Reader and guidance on working one-to-one. After this first training day, the group’s Coordinator will keep your details listed until an appropriate volunteering opportunity arises. Please be aware that this can sometimes take some time. Once you have been allocated a new Reader, you will be given a list of approved venues and the two of you will be able to choose together a convenient place to meet, which you will then be responsible for booking. You will be asked to keep the Coordinator informed of these arrangements, keep a record of your Reader’s progress and submit this regularly to the
Coordinator. After the first few weeks of meeting together, the Coordinator will visit to observe a reading session and offer advice and support, and will then keep in touch with you and visit to provide support as necessary.
Once you have been working with your Reader for a while, we will ask you to attend a ‘Consolidation Training’ day. This will provide you with ideas for how to use other resources, techniques and activities to help your Reader to consolidate his/her learning. Please note that
attendance at both training days is an essential requirement if you decide to volunteer as a Coach. The training is very interactive and volunteers generally find the sessions very interesting and rewarding, but please be aware that they are quite long and intensive days.
The secret to success in learning to read is working one-to-one, little and often. We therefore ask our Reading Coaches to commit to providing two separate, half hour coaching sessions a week, whenever possible. To make this viable we will attempt to provide venues that are local enough for both Coach and Reader to spend as little time travelling as possible. Some Readers may complete the course in as little as nine months, others take as long as two
years, and sometimes longer. It varies a great deal according to the individual Reader, so please be aware of this. The great advantage of one-to-one coaching is that people can work at their own pace without feeling rushed.
Reading Coaches are also asked to commit to attending termly Coach Meetings whenever possible, to meet up with others, discuss how they are getting on and receive extra training.
Read Easy’s overall principle is that volunteers should not be out of pocket as a result of their volunteering, but should also seek to get good value for the organisation. We therefore try to arrange reading sessions to keep travel to a minimum. The Coordinator will discuss with you how much travel you are likely to incur and whether paying expenses would be helpful.
Personal qualities required to be a Reading Coach:
● an ability to talk and listen to the person you coach in a patient, positive, encouraging
and purposeful way;
● a non-judgemental attitude and a positive respect for others, regardless of abilities,
ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or age;
● an ability to focus on your Reader and his or her needs;
● an ability to work alone, seeking support when necessary;
● a willingness to work within the guidelines and policies of the project
● reliability and consistency;
● an ability to handle disappointment;
● a commitment to maintaining confidentiality;
● willingness to undergo an Enhanced DBS check, if required;
● the ability and confidence to work on a computer and access documents online, or the willingness to learn to do so.