Read Easy Wellingborough celebrates first graduate reader

The course offers free, one-to-one reading help to any adult who would like to learn to read or improve their reading skills

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 6:00 am

A man who had struggled to read all his life has become the first graduate of a Wellingborough-based free adult reading programme.

Charity Read Easy Wellingborough was formed in 2018 and offers free, one-to-one reading help to any adult who would like to learn to read or improve their reading skills.

With the charity's help, Rohan Walters has passed the course with flying colours helped by his reading coach Paul Hammond.

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l-r Paul Hammond (coach) and Rohan Walters (reader). Rohan has graduated from the Read Easy scheme in Wellingborough

Rohan said: “It has made a massive change to my life. I am really, really, grateful to Read Easy and to Paul. My good relationship with Paul was important and the lessons were fun, safe and with no judgement at all.

"Learning to read has boosted my confidence and removed the fear I had of being in challenging situations. I have more courage and I now realise I'm not alone in not being able to read."

Rohan had wanted to learn to read for some time as his lack of reading skills had been overlooked at school, but he could not find a suitable organisation.

He did not want to join a class. His wife, Keesha, tried a search on the internet and found Read Easy Wellingborough which had only been set up six months before. She sent an email and received a response the next day – that was when she told Rohan what she had done.

l-r Paul Hammond (coach) and Rohan Walters (reader). Rohan has graduated from the Read Easy scheme in Wellingborough

Rohan met the co-ordinator and then his coach Paul and they met in Wellingborough Library twice a week to work through the Turning Pages manuals and resources. Then came lockdown. Rohan worked through the books at home for a while and then started to meet Paul online, each having a copy of the manual and the associated reading books. By 2022 he had finished the course.

At a presentation at Wellingborough Library, attended by Read Easy coaches and library staff, Rohan received a certificate to mark his success and also presented a certificate of thanks to his coach, Paul.

Wife Keesha said: "I've noticed a big difference in Rohan. Not only that but it has opened my eyes and changed the way I interact with people and I no longer expect everyone to be able to read and complete forms.”

Rohan said: "Anyone who wants to learn to read should not to be afraid to contact Read Easy."

Calls to the charity increased after a TV programme, featuring Repair Shop presenter Jay Blades, highlighted their work.

Alison Percival, team leader at Read Easy Wellingborough, said: "Not being able to read can affect people in many ways - reading food labels, warning signs, timetables, choosing a greetings card.

"Being a coach is tremendously rewarding. There is a great feeling of achievement and pride when a reader completes a manual and moves on to the next one. Lessons are free, friendly, at a readers’ own pace, with no group pressure for two half hours each week."

If you know anyone who wants help to learn to read, contact [email protected] or ring 07759815163.

It could change their life. Read Easy Wellingborough also need people to join the team and help with the running of the group.

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