Literacy charity a real life-changer
A charity that has been supporting people across Kent through literacy problems for 43 years is celebrating its 25th year in the Garden of England.
Beanstalk Kent and Medway recruited its first volunteers in 1992, following success in London, where it had been founded by Susan Belgrave.
She launched the initiative to help children work through literacy issues to prevent them being limited in later life.
The charity recruits, trains and places volunteers in pri- mary schools, where they work as reading helpers and provide one-to-one support to children.
In Kent alone, the charity is made up of a network of more than 350 helpers and supports more than 1,000 children.
Reaching the 25-year milestone doesn’t mean the organisation is slowing down, however. The county team is looking to further increase its reach in the coming years, and is setting its sights on neighbouring areas in East Sussex as well.
Area manager Malou Bengtsson-Wheeler said: “As we take the next steps on our journey, we are calling for more volunteers to come forward and join us, so that every child leaves school with the reading ability and confidence they need to succeed in life.”
Plans for the next few months include supporting challenges organised by the KM Charity Team, including the colour run at Betteshanger Park near Deal, and the charity walk on Sunday June 25, during which fundraisers will take on a 10-mile route connecting Maidstone’s Mote House with Leeds Castle.
The charity will also be taking part in Chiddingstone Castle’s Literary Festival, on the May Day bank holiday weekend.
To get involved with Beanstalk or to find out more, call 01622 662026 or visit www.beanstalk charity.org.uk
Beanstalk volunteers celebrate the charity’s 25th anniversary. Colin Buston is one of those giving up their time to help young readers