January always feels like a good opportunity for us at Coram Beanstalk to re-group and renew our efforts to reach more children, despite the school year having begun in September.  

It’s a time to embrace a new calendar year, blow away the cobwebs and start afresh – so let’s kick off January by introducing ourselves! 

Amy Lewis, Head of Coram Beanstalk

Coram Beanstalk is celebrating 50 years of helping children to build their reading confidence, enjoyment and ability, enabling them to thrive into adulthood through one-to-one, in-person support. We are regarded as one of the pioneers of the reading for pleasure approach and this remains at the heart of our work. Our approach brings a champion into a child's life; someone who believes in them, takes the time to listen and shows them they can succeed.  

While other charities offer reading schemes, and some adopt a similar reading for pleasure focus, there are few who offer the consistent, dedicated, one-to-one support that our trained volunteers provide to children over the course of a year – it is this that makes the difference.  

It may sound grand but, at its simplest, we put the fun and motivation back into reading for children who don’t see the point, would rather not bother or find it too difficult. And that fun and motivation leads organically to them wanting to read. All the research shows that when we read because we want to – not because we are being told to or feel we must – it makes a significant difference to how successful we are in education, how good we feel and how well we do in life.  

As one of the longest-standing national children’s literacy charities offering one-to-one reading support, we have a proven track record of transforming the reading attitudes and ability of over 250,000 children and we can demonstrate that are we are reaching those most in need – over 3/4 of the children we supported last year received free school meals and over 40% were receiving special educational needs support.  

But as our Patron, Sir Michael Morpurgo recently said, “charities like ours don’t exist on fine words alone." We need support from corporate partners, publishers and funders, we need people to spread the word about what we do, we need schools to adopt our service and we need volunteers to offer their time to children who need it. 

So, this January, as we contemplate new starts, new opportunities and new ideas, why not think about how you could make a difference to a child’s entire future by getting to know us and giving us your support?