Power of the community By Gail Washington, Beanstalk Area Manager for the West Midlands. At Beanstalk West Midlands we’re very fortunate to have the support of the communities we work in, who support us by spreading the word about our amazing volunteers and play a big role in helping children to read, grow and succeed. Our amazing supporters have made a huge part by connecting us to people in their local communities who are eager to make a difference and inspire local children to read for pleasure and ultimately improve literacy levels for the next generation. We can’t say thank you enough to all the local businesses, theatres, university and school leaders, creative arts organisations, library services and MPs – the list is truly endless – who have each played their own role in supporting Beanstalk and helping to shape their local community for the better. They’ve all got behind Beanstalk, supporting us to ensure that local people find out about volunteering as a trained reading helper. But they’ve also made a big difference by providing support to Beanstalk in a practical sense, helping us where we need it. For instance, we’ve launched a new local partnership with Storage Base Wednesbury, who are very helpfully supporting us in finding more efficient ways of storing and distributing books to children across the West Midlands, making it easier to ensure that children have the resources they need to read, grow and succeed. Their support will make a big difference in ensuring that more local children will enjoy the experience of having a dedicated reading helper supporting them to develop their confidence and reading ability. If you are passionate about helping your local community and would like to get involved with Beanstalk, I would encourage you to get in touch with us and let’s see what we can do together!