15 November 2018

A special event took place this week in London as part of a collaboration between the Cavalry and Guards Club and national charity Beanstalk to help support more children who struggle with reading. The partnership was conceived through a shared connection with Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, who is royal patron for both organisations.  

Beanstalk volunteers provide support to primary school children on a regular basis to help them become more confident readers. In uniting their efforts, Beanstalk and the Cavalry and Guards Club are working together to promote meaningful volunteering opportunities to the club’s members to deliver vital reading support to more children across London on a regular basis.  

The event took place at the Club’s premises in the heart of Mayfair bringing together current reading helpers and potential new volunteers to highlight the importance of books and reading from a young age, including talks from Beanstalk volunteers who shared their experiences engaging reluctant and struggling readers.  

Ginny Lunn, CEO of Beanstalk, gave the opening welcome at the event: 

“Being able to read confidently and enjoy books should be every child’s right in life, but for a variety of different reasons it isn’t always the case and many children will struggle to read and fall behind in school as a result.  That is where our reading helpers can make such a difference. Our volunteers don’t teach the mechanics of reading, they spend time one-to-one on a regular basis introducing the children to a variety of wonderful books, talking about the stories, exploring different characters and essentially encouraging a love of reading. After a year of support, the child’s reading is often transformed. This year over 150,000 children left primary school not having reached the expected level of reading. By working with like-minded organisations such as the Cavalry and Guards Club we can match so many more fantastic reading helpers to children in schools where they can make a really meaningful difference and engage new support to help this important cause.”  

Sarah Rutherford-Jones, Chairman of the Calvary and Guards Club ladies committee, said:  

“The Cavalry and Guards Club was delighted to host the event on Wednesday. We feel sure that opportunities like this are extremely beneficial to both Beanstalk and a wider audience. This is certainly a partnership that we hope will produce benefits for the charity and we look forward to working together in the coming years.”  

Current volunteers and potential reading helpers were present at the event and heard Beanstalk reading helper Cyrena Fink talk about the importance of picking the right books for the children being supported. This was followed by an inspiring talk by children’s author and Beanstalk volunteer Peter Bunzl on the enjoyment of bringing books to life from the perspective of an author and reading helper. Attendees then heard from Sarah Rutherford-Jones, Chairman of the Cavalry and Guards Club Ladies Committee.  

For over 40 years Beanstalk has been recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to work one-to-one in schools across England to help primary school children that struggle with reading.  

To apply to be a reading helper in London or in other parts of England where Beanstalk works please complete an online application form.