Thanks to a grant from the John Salmon Fund, Schoolreaders has been able to recruit new reading volunteers and partner schools, as well as provide ongoing support to volunteers including online training, forums and newsletters. They now have 54 volunteers listening to 540 primary school children read each week. The volunteers work in 34 schools across Leicestershire and Rutland, 9 schools in the top 20% areas of deprivation.
1 in 4 primary school children in England fail to reach the expected standard of reading by the age of 11. This leaves them unable to access their secondary education fully, which will have lifelong consequences. Recent research conducted by Schoolreaders in partnership with the Institute for Research in Education at the University of Bedfordshire shows that 87% of children increased their reading age after one term of support from a Schoolreaders volunteer. It isn’t only the children that have benefited. 77% of Schoolreaders volunteers say the work has given them an increased sense of purpose and value.
A grant from Rutland and Melton Training has enabled Uppingham First to provide mandatory training for volunteer drivers to keep the community Hopper running for the next four years. In addition to paying for the specialist training, Uppingham First were able to pay for a training room and lunches for the volunteers.
Living in a rural area with a diminishing commercial bus service, the Uppingham hopper provides free transport within the town of Uppingham five days a week. The service operates on an hourly timetable and is available to all resident (and visitors) of Uppingham. It enables individuals to access shopping and social facilities that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them as some have no private transport and some have mobility issues.
1461 Squadron ATC
The John Salmon fund has provided a grant to 1461 Squadron ATC to pay for an MTA kit for cadets to aid team building exercises and strengthen each cadet’s individual leadership skills. The kit is versatile and robust, so it can be used indoors and outdoors and is expandable so the activities that can be carried out are endless. The equipment also comes with replacements so the Squadron will get years of use from the kit.
STARS have been able to bring their NEET 2 EET (NEET stands for Not in Employment,
Education or Training) programme to the Educ8 group in New Parks, Leicester. The NEET 2 EET programme aims to equip young, vulnerable participants with skills, and self-esteem to pursue a career. A grant from The John Salmon Fund was used to provide mentor support to the group of learners; working with them on timekeeping, presentation, confidence and time management. Young people were also supported with writing a CV and interview techniques, and are encouraged to go on training courses such as First Aid training and options to earn a BTEC.
Many young people whom STARS and Educ8 support have a learning disability, so
mentorship is really valuable. By the end of the programme, learners had found the programme to be positive, commenting on improved self-esteem and mental health as they progressed, and several went onto a course or into employment.
Angels and Monsters
The Angels and Monsters charity is a friendly Leicester-based charity that helps teen and young parents and their families. They offer a wide range of services and support, all completely free of charge.
The grant from an anonymous donor enabled them to recruit a Volunteer Mentor – an essential role that helps develop and upskill teen and young parents by providing free training and work experience sessions, as well as the cost of their travel, food and childcare for 2 x 3 hour sessions a week for 48 weeks. More than 30 young families have been supported to move towards or into paid employment through this work.