21 February 2018

Beanstalk's South East team has been presented with an award for its innovative interactions within the field of wellbeing at the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards.

Held last night (20 February) at the Ashford International Hotel, the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards highlight projects that set the template for wellbeing, showing the path to a better way of life – whether at home, in work or out in the community.

Malou Bengtsson-Wheeler, Area Manager for Beanstalk South East, was presented with the award and was praised for Beanstalk’s work in the community category. Beanstalk supports children who have fallen behind with their reading by recruiting, training and placing volunteers to work one-to-one with pupils in primary schools across England. Last year it helped over 1,650 children in the South East through the support of approximately 380 volunteers.

Malou said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won at the Inspiring Wellbeing Awards in the community category! This is our 26th year of supporting children with reading in the South East and it is so important for us to work closely with communities to offer flexible volunteering opportunities where people can make a real difference to children’s lives. So many of our reading helpers tell us how much they get from the experience themselves, from the training we provide right through to the ongoing support they receive once they are placed in a school. It really works both ways because the difference our volunteers make to children and their reading confidence is amazing to see.”

Diana Vincent has been a reading helper in Maidstone for four years:

“I really do believe I get as much out of it as the children do and I am really proud to be a Beanstalk reading helper and regularly talk to others and encourage them to do it too. I get lots of support from the local team in Kent and this makes you feel like you are part of a bigger picture. If you can’t read, you can’t grow, and that is why this is so important to me.”

Beanstalk has also been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Kent Charity Awards for which the winners will be announced on 15th March.

Beanstalk needs more members of the community from across the South East to help children that have fallen behind with reading. To find out how to get involved please visit our volunteering page.