"I quite simply see helping children to read as a being one of the most important things we can offer. It is life changing. I know from experience that if a child reaches secondary school as a poor reader life is difficult and and may end in exclusion." Kate Yde, Lambeth

We've worked with volunteers for 50 years!

We know that being a reading helper brings a range of benefits. Everyone who volunteers has their own motivations to do so and our training journey will give you a really good insight into the role to see if it matches your own expectations.  

Our volunteers tell us that being a reading helper has allowed them to:

  • Directly help children in their local community
  • Use their skills to give something back
  • Share a love of reading with the younger generation
  • Engage with their local community and our network of volunteers

And that it has enhanced their life by:

  • Improving their wellbeing
  • Allowing them to gain new skills 
  • Giving them experience of the school environment
  • Enabling them to feel useful and gain a new sense of purpose

Our schools tell us that our reading helpers enable their children to:

  • Have dedicated one to one time outside of the classroom with a trusted adult 
  • Improve their reading attainment and engagement across all areas of the curriculum
  • Develop a love of reading by sharing brilliant books and conversations with their reading helper
  • Improve their confidence and self-esteem 

We encourage anyone who understands the importance of reading to children's future success, who is able to give a few hours each week for a sustained period, to consider becoming a reading helper.... whatever your own motivation might be.

The children we support come, as you'd expect, from a wide range of backgrounds... and so do our volunteers. You don't need any previous experience so if you think you'd enjoy being a reading helper and are fluent in spoken and written English, please get in touch. 

Apply to volunteer now

Our training and support

"Both helpers are incredibly professional and committed to supporting the children. They have persevered with the reluctant readers and have given consideration to the strategies they need to adopt to motivate the children to read."  Associate Headteacher, Dr Tripletts CofE Primary School, Hillingdon

Hear from Coram Beanstalk's longest-standing reading helper volunteer speaking about her volunteering and why she does it!