Volunteer Reading Help inspires generations to achieve their potential. We are a national charity, helping children who struggle with their reading to develop a love of reading and learning.
olunteer Reading Help (VRH) is a national charity that helps disadvantaged children develop a love of reading and learning. We were established in 1973 by our Founder and President, Susan Belgrave MBE. What we do is simple: we recruit and train volunteers to work with children aged 6-11 who find reading a challenge and may need extra support and mentoring. Without individual support children can fall behind their peers and lack confidence and self esteem. Many may find it difficult to interact socially with adults. In later years they may drift into offending behaviour. Our trained network of reading helpers support the same children week in, week out, giving each an hour of quality, one to one time. They read, they play, they talk. With the support of VRH their approach to learning and enjoying is often transformed. Their confidence, self esteem and reading standards improve.
Our work takes place in schools but outside the classroom. We also work with looked after children, often the most vulnerable children in society.
The work of VRH benefits our volunteers too. Some have been out of work for long periods of time and may lack the confidence to seek paid employment. Many find their experience of volunteering helps them to develop their skills and confidence. Many go on to find employment, for example, as classroom assistants. Some are looking to put something back into society following retirement. Our volunteers are all ages and come from a variety of backgrounds but what links them all together is a profound sense of enjoyment in what they do. Improving the diversity of our volunteer workforce – to attract more young men and people from BME communities – is one of our key aims over the next three years.