"I was anxious, because I felt I had little experience to offer. The trainers were able to allay my fears by explaining exactly what is expected of a volunteer. I now know that there is ongoing support always available to me, and I believe that I do have the ability to identify with young children and a willingnesss to provide the happy atmosphere so that we can succeed together!" Reading Helper 

Your learning and development

Your initial training is delivered online and will set you up to begin one-to-one sessions with confidence. Once established as a reading helper, you can continue your learning journey by using the self-directed resources available on our online portal and booking onto our online trainer-delivered group sessions.  We offer a range of topics each term and will encourage you to attend a session at least once each year. 

Meet our training team

My Coram Beanstalk

An online library where you can find useful tips, information and learning to help you keep your sessions fun, interesting and productive. There are downloadable articles to read, videos to watch and activities you can use with the children. The best place to look to keep things on track or if you feel you need to try something new, it’s also the place to go to book onto events and meetings. If you are already a reading helper, you can enter the portal here.

Connecting our volunteers

No-one knows better what life as a reading helper is like than someone else doing the same thing. You can opt-in to our growing network of peer to peer support and be buddied with another reading helper. A great way to compare and contrast, and to share the worries and the joys either over the phone, email or video call or you may, over time, make plans to meet up.

Volunteer champions and Community connectors

We are very lucky to have some ‘super’ volunteers, known as volunteer champions and community connectors, who link up with volunteers in their local area and organise face to face meet ups. We’re growing this network - so this may not yet be available in your area - but we’ll get there! You might even like to take on this role yourself?

Online meet-ups

Our support team lead online meet ups and drop in sessions. These are a chance to talk together in a small online group. We also bring groups of newer volunteers together after their first few weeks so that they can chat as a group about what’s going well and provide any support needed. 


We try to keep our communications useful and to a minimum! We send a monthly message covering essential updates about our organisation, as well as sharing other helpful information. At times where we anticipate a lot of the same queries coming up, we also send out additional answers to ‘frequently asked questions’.

Social media

Do search for us on social media as we often share book-related content and other updates on all of our channels. Always feel free to post about your positive experiences as a reading helper (always remembering to keep children anonymous). We know our reading helpers have the best stories to share and everyone loves to hear them! 

Facebook - @beanstalkreads

Twitter - @beanstalkreads

Instagram - @beanstalkreads

Finally, the best way to contact us if your query isn’t answered through any of the options covered above is to email us on [email protected] We will respond as soon as we can: the inbox is staffed during office hours. We also tend to have a frequently asked questions and answers on an auto-response.

Meet our support team