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

Northern England 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.

Central England 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.

Southern England 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.

Programme and Training Manager – Amy Lewis

Hi, I’m Amy. I’ve been working with Coram Beanstalk since 2011. Originally I trained in Primary Education and subsequently went on to take up leadership positions in the retail and voluntary sectors. I’ve a real passion for helping people learn new skills and rediscover, and have confidence in, their existing ones; a common thread linking all of my roles. You may see me pop up around the country as I develop, test and refine our training offer. As a child I was a 'torch under the covers' reader and still read each night to escape and explore new worlds! As a parent to teenagers I know the importance of children being confident readers and the benefit of individualised one to one attention. I am consistently in awe of the brilliant people we train who dedicate time to make a difference to the lives of children across the UK.

Apply to volunteer in a primary school now

Apply to volunteer in an early years setting now