A look back at our Virtual Volunteering programme, Reading Recovery

As one of the knock-on effects of the covid-19 pandemic, reading levels amongst school aged people across the country have been hit hard. The uncertainty of the pandemic combined with extended periods at home away from a real learning environment has taken an understandable toll on young people’s ability to learn key skills… As a result of this urgent social issue our newest Nascence programme, Reading Recovery, was born.


Reading Recovery helps primary school children aged between 7 and 11 improve their literacy skills by giving them time to practice reading ‘one to one’ with a volunteer adult or ‘Buddy’ using the power of technology to enable virtual volunteering.


By joining up our Nascence Partners, who are looking to expand their CSR offering, with our Forever Sport primary schools, who need extra capacity to deliver additional reading lessons, we are able to offer a cohort of children the opportunity of weekly virtual reading lesson.


For most children aged between 7 and 11, their only real experience of direct relationships with adults will have been with family members and their teachers. Demonstrating that an independent adult who is not connected to family or formal teaching is interested in them and their learning can give a huge boost to a young person’s confidence, self-esteem and communication skills – in addition to the benefits of regular reading practice you will provide.


Looking back at one of our Reading Recovery schools we have seen a marked improvement in the reading levels of the children and have received fantastic feedback on the sessions from parents and teachers.


“I had a parent’s evening and the parents of the children who are taking part were all really pleased with how it was going! Ben’s mum said how Ben had lost his spark with reading for a while and said how he talks about the session and the book really positively! Dexter’s mum also mentioned how previously he was struggling to find a book he enjoyed and that he was really enjoying the sessions!”


“Ben can’t stop reading the book. He lost his love of reading a little and this has certainly brought it back!”


“I just wanted to touch base and pass on my thanks to everyone. The reading project has made a great impact with the boys involved and, from a logistical point of view, I’m really impressed with how it has all run.”


The programme also positively impacts the staff from our corporate partners with feedback from one volunteer saying “I think the virtual way of reading is going great, I can’t praise the programme enough.” And another saying “it is such a lovely 20 minutes to start the week off.”


The programme has been so successful that we have now expanded our offering to 18 partner schools and are looking for more volunteering support from corporate partners. If you are interested in getting involved or simply talking about the Nascence project in more detail, please contact Paul Glanville.



Our mission is to support the physical and mental health of the most disadvantaged communities in Bristol, and we rely on your donation to do it. Your contribution will directly fund sport and physical activity interventions for families who need it most.

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