24 May 2018

A local primary school in Gloucester welcomed Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate their accomplishments in reading. St James’ Church of England school works with Beanstalk, a national charity that supports children who have fallen behind with their reading, of which Her Royal Highness is Patron.  

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall became Patron of Beanstalk in 2013 and in February announced her plans to continue as the charity’s Patron. Beanstalk is a national charity which recruits, trains and places volunteers to work one-on-one with children aged 3-13 in primary schools and early years’ settings across England. Volunteers support children who have fallen behind with their reading or are reluctant readers.

Her Royal Highness met with the staff and children who attend St James’ Church of England School, as well as observing a reading session taking place between Beanstalk volunteers and children. Whilst at the school, Her Royal Highness met with pupils and staff at the schools, unveiled a plaque commemorating the visit and met with Dame Janet Trotter, local supporters and members of the Board of Governors. Her Royal Highness also read a short extract from Harry Potter which was well-received by the children.

Ginny Lunn, Chief Executive Officer at Beanstalk, said: “We are thrilled that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visited one of our partner schools and met with the staff, children and volunteers that work closely together. Her Royal Highness has been a huge supporter of Beanstalk’s and we’re pleased she is such a strong champion of literacy in England”

Angela Anderton, Headteacher at St James’ Church of England School, explains why she chose Beanstalk to work in her school. "St James’ CofE School is a culturally diverse school in an area of high social deprivation. We feel that the most important thing that any one person can give to another is a chance. In supporting the learning of reading, we are giving our children a chance in life, we are investing in the future; Beanstalk volunteers will be part of this investment."

As part of a foreword written by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for Beanstalk’s special anniversary collection of stories published in 2013, she wrote:

“I believe passionately in encouraging a love of reading in young people of all ages.  There is nothing quite like the thrill of opening a book and being transported into another world to meet new people and to discover their stories – it’s like making new friends.”