Celebrating a local Coronation Champion
Norfolk Reading Project Co-Founder, Anne Thorley, has been made one of 500 Coronation Champions in the UK.
In honour of Their Majesties’ service to the country, Royal Voluntary Service launched the Coronation Champions Awards to recognise and celebrate extraordinary volunteers across the country who have been contributing to their communities.
Anne Thorley received the Coronation Champion Award in recognition of her work leading the Norfolk Reading Project, a local charity whose aim is to improve literacy standards across Norfolk by providing trained volunteers to support children’s reading on a one-to-one basis within Primary Schools. Since being established in 2015, Anne has played a critical role in driving the charity forward and inspiring over 400 volunteers across the county to step up and offer their time help children build their confidence and improve their literacy, ensuring they have the best start in life.
Previously a pharmacist, Anne not only conducts all training sessions to equip volunteers with the skills they need to support children on a one to one basis, but also goes into a Primary School weekly herself to work with children on their reading skills, alongside the day-to-day work involved in running the charity.
After it was recognised that Great Yarmouth and Thetford were particular areas of need, a grant from Norfolk Community Foundation’s New Endeavours Rangers Fund awarded in 2021 enabled the Norfolk Reading Project to expand their volunteering efforts. Since then the charity has also been supported by the Foundation’s ProHelp initiative, with Graham Hays from HComs helping to create a database of volunteers to help Anne and the Trustees further coordinate activity as the Project seeks to meet the demand from schools for more and more volunteers.
Feel inspired to get involved and change a child’s future, today?
In the UK 16.4% of adults have very poor literacy skills – one of the highest rates in the developed world. Low literacy runs along the fault-lines in a society, and in England this fault-line is deprivation. In certain areas of Norfolk, 1 in 4 children leaving school are unable to read. At Norfolk Community Foundation, we have been working with the Norfolk Reading Project, alongside the National Literacy Trust, to challenge the idea that low literacy is inevitable in areas of high deprivation with The Literacy Project.
Our aim is to improve literacy, so our young people are better equipped to deal with the world around them both now and in the future. Inspired by the success so far working alongside the Norfolk Reading Project, we want to support even more children – but we need people to step up and volunteer their time to be a reading buddy. Please do get in touch with us if this is something you would be interested in, or speak to email@example.com.