By Bethan Wood, Beanstalk's Corporate Partnerships Manager

Everyone at Beanstalk was delighted to find out our application to be featured as one of BBC Radio 4’s charity appeals had been successful. We really felt that our cause would have a connection with the Radio 4 listeners and were excited to share the Beanstalk story.

After much deliberation we decided that whilst many charities who take part in the appeal choose to use a famous supporter to present their appeal, we wanted someone who was directly involved with Beanstalk to share their own, personal experience. We felt that having a Beanstalk reading helper, and one of the children they support, telling their story on the radio would have a real impact.

Jill Pay - one of our wonderful reading helpers - who has been involved with Beanstalk for several years, agreed to present our appeal, together with Moris - one of the children she helps on a weekly basis -  a seven year old boy from Croatia. Both Jill and Moris had a lot of input into the script. Moris particularly enjoyed adding in his own ideas and thoughts about the books he liked and how he feels about his sessions with Jill.

On the day of the appeal recording Jill, Moris, Moris’ teacher and I arrived at BBC Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus. Arriving at this stunning, art deco building in central London to record something for Beanstalk felt like a real event, especially for Moris. Moris was really excited and kept telling us all how he had learnt his script by heart!

Both Jill and Moris were brilliant, they both put so much passion and energy into the recording and they clearly have a lovely bond. Jill made Moris feel supported and comfortable the whole time despite it being quite an overwhelming situation for a young boy, and we were all delighted with the final recording!

The Beanstalk appeal first aired on Sunday 14th August 2016 at 07.54am. It will be repeated on Thursday 18th August at 15.27 so please do tune in to hear Jill and Moris talk about their reading sessions. You can also listen to the appeal via the BBC Radio 4 website  and if you wish to donate to Beanstalk’s appeal you can do so via this link.

All the money raised from the appeal goes to help Beanstalk recruit more reading helpers so that we can give one-to-one literacy support to even more children like Moris.