Our training team will ensure you feel well prepared for when you start volunteering so that you're confident right from the start.

Training Manager – Eve Brewster

Hi, I’m Eve and I joined Coram Beanstalk in November 2019. For many years I was a Primary school teacher in Sussex and then Norfolk. In my classroom, story time was always my favourite part of the day. It was great to see the expressions on the faces of the children as we shared a funny, sad or exciting book together. More recently I have worked in a senior leadership role in health and social care where I have supported staff to develop their skills.

As a mum of two young boys, reading is a part of our daily routine and I love discovering new books to read with them at bedtime. I’m also a member of a book group so my own bedtime reading is pretty varied. 

As Coram Beanstalk’s training manager it’s my job to develop, test and hone our training. While doing this, I get to meet some of the amazing people who devote their free time to supporting children in their reading journeys.   

Trainer – Lorraine Dowson

Hi, I’m Lorraine, I’ve worked with Coram Beanstalk since 2014, training volunteers to help children discover a love of reading. From my first job as a primary teacher in a disadvantaged area of Leeds, through work in Early Years, community education and post-16 education as a lecturer and manager in Lancashire, I have seen the power of good literacy skills to change lives. Reading was my first love and it has always been a joy to share wonderful words and stories with children of all ages. My last job in mainstream education was to run a new library in a primary school, which wanted to inspire all its children to read for pleasure. If we can do that through our reading helpers and help children to build confidence in reading we are well on the way to achieving the Coram Beanstalk aims that inspired me to join this amazing charity.

Trainer - Kate Denby

Hi, I’m Kate and I’ve been a Trainer with Coram Beanstalk since June 2018. Before that, I worked in both Early Years and Primary education for 22 years as a class teacher and senior school leader. As a struggling young reader, I was fortunate to have a family who delighted in the sharing of books. So, whilst I found the mechanics of reading difficult, I was still very much able to immerse myself in that wonderful fantasy world of adventure through being read to. I love my job at Coram Beanstalk as I’m able to utilise my skills, and love of books to enable individuals to share the pleasure of reading with young people. When training I do share the odd anecdote from my teaching days, because I know that our focus on reading for pleasure is such a crucial thing. Stories are, after all for sharing.

Trainer – Sara Browne

Hi, I’m Sara. I have been with Coram Beanstalk since 2016, first as a volunteer reading helper and now as a Trainer. I originally trained as an actor, before becoming a Portage worker, working with pre-school children with additional needs. I spent twelve years as a lecturer in Early Years Development and Education.  This gave me a strong insight into the importance of sharing books with young children, something that doesn’t always happen consistently in the home.

I find it difficult to think of a day passing without reading a book of some kind, and I love bringing the enjoyment of great books to the children I see. It is exciting to share Coram Beanstalk’s successful child-focused approach with people on our training courses. I enjoy setting them off on their own confident path as reading helpers, ready to help children discover new worlds through a love of reading.

Trainer – Anna Cunningham

Hi, I’m Anna and I joined Coram Beanstalk in March 2020. I started my career working in education marketing before becoming a secondary school English teacher 14 years ago. From being young I have always been an avid reader fascinated by the English language and enjoy the escapism of a good read; my role as a trainer with Beanstalk allows me to share this passion with some amazing colleagues, parents and volunteers.

When teaching I found that young people love being read to no matter what their age – I once taught a challenging Year 9 class who chose ten minutes of story time as their reward for working hard each lesson – and there was nothing more satisfying than seeing reluctant or struggling readers making progress during the course of a year. So, that is why I work for Beanstalk – I believe that all children have a right to read and that reading opens up so many endless possibilities for them.

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