A charity which helps children in Dorset to improve their reading skills has been given a generous cash boost from the Gannett Foundation.

Dorset Reading Partners have received £1,236 in the latest round of funding from the Foundation.

The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc., the parent company of Newsquest Media Group, one of the UK’s largest publishers and owners of the Dorset Echo.

In total, charities up and down the UK are in line for grants totalling nearly £300,000.

Dorset Reading Partners is a charity that recruits, trains and equips volunteer reading partners to support children with their reading development, operating in primary schools around the county.

Juliet Ruddick co-ordinator of Dorset Reading Partners welcomed the donation, which she explained will be used to purchase books and games, which will be brought into schools.

She said: “We are thrilled to receive the funding.

“It is fantastic because books are really expensive. We have just started a project with Dorchester schools and have boxes that we need to fill with books and games.

“The donation means we can buy new resources.”

The Gannett Foundation provides funding to registered charities in the areas that bring lasting benefits to communities.

It supports charities with projects which take a creative approach to fundamental issues such as neighbourhood improvements, local problem-solving, economic development, youth enterprise, sport and healthy living, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, care of the elderly, environmental conservation, and educational or cultural enrichment.

Juliet Ruddick said Dorset Reading Partners aims to help make reading fun for children in the area.

She said: “We have reading partners across Dorset and we work in local primary schools. A reading partner will work one on one with a child. 

“The aim is to build the reader’s confidence and develop their love of reading.

“Some children we work with don’t think it is fun to read and we try to show them that it is.”

The charity currently has 90 voluntary reading partners who go into schools around the county on a weekly basis.

Juliet added: “Schools pay a subscription, but we need to fund the rest of the money. This is fantastic it would be a struggle to fund all the boxes without this funding. It will help inspire children to read.”