Literacy charities join forces to support more children and young people Beanstalk and Reading Matters announced today they are merging to enable them to reach more children and young people who need support with their reading. Both charities work with children to help them to become confident readers, enabling them to thrive throughout their education and later life. Reading Matters primarily provides one-to-one support to children in secondary schools through its volunteer Reading Mentors and its accredited Reading Leaders programme along with other services that improve children’s literacy skills. Beanstalk offers one-to-one reading support to children across England in primary schools and early years settings, such as pre-school and nurseries. After the merger all Reading Matters programmes will become Beanstalk programmes. Both organisations have a significant impact on children and young people. In 2016-17 Reading Matters helped 6,497 children and young people while Beanstalk worked with 11,000 children over the same period. Ginny Lunn, CEO of Beanstalk is excited about the merger: ‘Both Beanstalk and Reading Matters want to help children and young people to become confident readers and the more reluctant or struggling readers we’re reaching, the better. By merging we will bring the expertise of two charities under the one Beanstalk brand and reach a far greater number of children’. ‘At Reading Matters, we are very proud of our impact and the difference we make to young people’s life chances.’ says Rachel Kelly, current CEO of Reading Matters. ‘This merger with Beanstalk will strengthen our programmes and resources and enable us to support even more children and young people who are struggling with reading. We are very much looking forward to growing the volunteer base, developing our programmes and changing the lives of many more children and young people.’ Reading Matters staff will become Beanstalk staff from 1st November and Reading Matters programmes will be delivered under the Beanstalk brand from that date. Rachel Kelly will join Beanstalk’s Senior Leadership Team as Director of Local Services, helping to bring new programmes that will see Beanstalk extend its reach to more children and young people. - Ends – Notes to the editor: For further information please contact Beanstalk’s press contact Steve Hawe on [email protected] or 07837 701520. About Beanstalk Beanstalk is a national charity that provides one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading. The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in primary schools.Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers transform the lives of the children they support, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers. In the last school year the charity helped over 11,000 children across England, in over 1,400 schools, with the help of over 3,000 reading helpers, ensuring children have the skills and confidence to reach their true potential. By 2020-21 Beanstalk aims to help 30,000 children every year, with 8,000 volunteers. About Reading Matters Reading Matters is a registered charity and not-for-profit social enterprise which began in 1997. Since then, the charity has supported tens of thousands of young people. In 2016/17, Reading Matters supported 6,497 children and young people and on average increased reading ages by 13 months in just 10 weeks. The charity runs a range of programmes: Reading Mentors, Reading Leaders, Reading Families and Reading Teams. They provide schools with a resource box of reading materials that will engage and encourage reluctant readers. Reading Matters’ social mission is to help children, young people and adults to reach their potential by becoming confident and enthusiastic readers.