2nd March 2020

Children at Lings Primary School in Northampton have been paying special tribute to volunteers who come in to the school twice a week to help them with their reading. In a short film put together by the school, the children explain in their own words just how much of a difference their reading helpers have made to them.

The film was shown at a volunteer event held in Northampton by Coram Beanstalk which has been working with Lings Primary School for over ten years and now has eight local reading helper volunteers who visit the school on a twice-weekly basis.

Each volunteer supports three children on a one-to-one basis for 30 minutes at time. During these sessions they share books together, chat about them and play book-based games, all with the aim of boosting reading confidence and encouraging a lifelong love of reading.

Emma Jacox is Head of School at Lings Primary School: “I was asked to speak at the Coram Beanstalk volunteer event and, as I was preparing for it, I realised that we didn't often stop and thank our volunteers. School life is so busy that often there is time for little more than a quick greeting in passing. However, our volunteers give up so much time for us - they are a stable and predictable part of our school week, turning up, helping out and never asking for anything in return. We felt it was important that as a school we thanked them for their time and for the children to have the opportunity to thank them too. So we came up with the idea of creating a film that I would show at the event. The children had a fantastic time making it and deciding what they would like to say. Listening to their words and the appreciation they have for their volunteers was amazing and showed what a difference our helpers are making to our children's lives.”

Sue has been a reading helper since 2012 and has been volunteering at Lings Primary School since last November. She explains that she was quite taken aback by the film when it was shown at the Coram Beanstalk volunteer event. “When the film was shown it didn’t really register at first but then I realised these were some of the children that I support and they were talking about me! I felt quite emotional watching it, to hear how the children felt about our reading sessions. Hearing from the children in their own words through this lovely film shows that what we do as volunteers really has an impact. It’s a really lovely school to volunteer in and I have felt so appreciated by the school and welcomed into their community. The Head of School will often come and say hello and see how I am getting on when I come in and this really makes you feel valued.”

Ginny Lunn, Managing Director of Coram Beanstalk was at the event and said watching the film was very emotional for everyone. “It was an incredibly touching moment hearing from the children themselves on the film just how much their reading helpers mean to them and how they have made such a difference. It was such a lovely and thoughtful thing to do and just reinforces how sharing a love of reading can change lives and spread happiness. Thank you to Lings Primary School and to all our wonderful reading helpers!”

Coram Beanstalk is looking for more volunteers to become reading helpers in schools across Northamptonshire and beyond.

Find out more about how you can be involved