A NATIONAL reading charity is on the look-out for bookworms interested in becoming training reader helpers in Runcorn and Widnes.

Coram Beanstalk recruit and train volunteers to support children on a one-to-one basis in Primary Schools and pre-schools and are now looking for new recruits to help 3-11-year-olds who need extra reading support on a regular basis.

According to the charity, sharing books with an adult on a one-to-one basis can help raise a child's self-esteem, increase their confidence and boost their reading enjoyment.

Managing Director Ginny Lunn said: "We know that fostering a love of reading can have a direct impact on educational outcomes, so it's vital that we are able to create a really positive reading experience, particularly for children who have become disengaged with reading.

"That's what our reading helpers help to create and where they really make a difference.

"Often the children our volunteers work with just need that bit of extra support and encouragement on a regular one-to-one basis that is just not always possible in lesson time.

"After a year's support the child’s confidence towards reading and their love of books is often transformed.

"We would love hear from anyone who feels they could help pass on a love of reading and has the time to volunteer in the New Year at a school on a twice-weekly basis.

"The difference you can make is beyond just helping a child to read, it can help boost their self-esteem and transform their future prospects."

Coram Beanstalk – who have been working with schools across England for more than 45 years – will train and match volunteers to pre-schools or schools where they will support children through weekly sessions and over one academic year, sharing books together, chatting about them and developing deeper understanding of the story.

Reading helper Kay started volunteering with the charity 12 months ago. She said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of Coram Beanstalk and the priceless opportunity it has given very reluctant readers, who lack of confidence and self-esteem in reading, to progress into confident independent readers.

"It is absolutely fantastic to see the children laughing, intrigued and engaged, opening their minds to new adventures and experiences, one book at a time!"

All volunteers receive training and ongoing support, as well as the opportunity to attend workshops and events to meet with fellow reading helpers.

Applicants will require a DBS check which the charity helps coordinate.

For more information and to apply, visit www.corambeanstalk.org.uk or call 020 7729 4087.