News and views News Volunteer celebrates a decade of helping children to read October 2018 Beanstalk is celebrating the dedication of one person who has been volunteering with the charity for 10 years. Lesley Matthews has supported three children per academic year, meaning that 30 children have been supported by her since she started in 2008. Lesley was presented with a certificate from Amy Mortimer, area manager for Yorkshire, for all of her hard work. Lesley tells Beanstalk what volunteering means to her, "I have been volunteering for Beanstalk for 10 years and that means that I have helped 30 young children to develop their reading, it is astonishing to think that the children I first started with would be currently taking their A levels. One little girl whom I had helped in my first year, on seeing me return to the school, said, 'Mrs Matthews, we [she named the two other children] really miss you.' and I explained that I really missed them too. You cannot put a price on the help that I have given the 30 children with whom I have worked, and I cannot put a price on the sense of value that volunteering with Beanstalk gives me." “The Yorkshire team is so proud of Lesley who has been a fantastic reading helper and made a huge difference to the many children she has supported over the last decade. She is so dedicated, enthusiastic and has so much experience of what works best with the children that we all benefit from hearing” said Amy Mortimer Beanstalk’s area manager for Yorkshire. In Yorkshire 38% of children left primary school in 2017-18 unable to read at the expected level. Support by volunteers, such as Lesley, is essential to enable all children to grow up as confident readers and thrive in their education and future career. Beanstalk is searching for volunteers across Yorkshire, in particular in Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster. If you would like to support children with improving their reading skills then please visit our Volunteering page.