A DORCHESTER group that is changing lives by helping people to learn to read is looking to increase its support.

The Dorchester Read Easy group has been running for around three years and has helped to transform people’s lives by teaching them the valuable skills of reading. The group offers one-to-one sessions with trained coaches, and while there is a healthy number of volunteers willing to help people learn to read, there is a shortage of actual readers.

The Ready Easy group currently has around 10 readers on its books and could help many more so is keen to hear from anyone who is over the age of 18 and cannot read or has literacy problems.

Group co-ordinator Carole Jardine said there were many people out there who, for various reasons, struggled to read or had simply never learned.

She said the charity was already helping a wide range of people and was keen for that to continue.

Carole said: “There are some people who left school two or three years ago who felt they didn’t do well enough, and our eldest person is 87 and she wanted to learn to read so she could read to her grandchildren.”

She urged anyone who knows of anyone that could benefit from the support of Read Easy to tell them about the service.

The Read Easy group was first set up as a joint group for Weymouth and Dorchester but the Weymouth branch has now split off as a separate branch due to the demand there.

There is also a group in Bridport and as many as ten different new groups are planned to replicate the good work in other areas.

Dorchester group chairman Moira Pinder said that for the county town branch it was not an issue of recruiting volunteers but finding people that needed their support.

She said: “The problem we have really is recruiting readers because they are a very hard group to reach.

“Some will have been coping without reading for ages.”

Moira said the experience of learning to read was beneficial for both those who were being taught and those who were doing the teaching.

She said: “I’ve worked with three readers and it’s really rewarding – it really does change their lives.

“Obviously if you can’t read it can be a real barrier. It’s very rewarding for the coaches to see people progress.

“It also helps people with things like employment and all sorts of other things.”

For more information about the group call 0844 472 4728, visit readeasy.org.uk, or email carole@readeasy.org.uk