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Turning pages - a new venture for retired lawyer

Jonathan Mills A local group helping adults to learn to read has appointed one of our former consultants to its management committee.

Jonathan Mills (pictured left at The Suffolk Anthology, a supporter of Read Easy Cheltenham and Gloucester) has recently retired from his position as a consultant with us and wanted to put his time to good use.

During his 30-year legal career, Jonathan became known as an expert in the field of commercial property through his work with Willans, acting in many multi-million pound transactions for national and international clients, and gaining recognition in national legal guides. He was also involved with the marketing of the firm, using his legal knowledge to condense complex articles into more reader-friendly terms.

Read Easy is a not-for-profit organisation that offers one-to-one tuition to adults who struggle with reading. Working through community-based volunteer groups, Read Easy offers a free, friendly, flexible approach to learning to read for any adult who either can’t read at all, or who lacks confidence with reading. 

Debbie Forbes is the chair of Read Easy Cheltenham and Gloucester. She said: "We're pleased to welcome Jonathan to the management committee, and I'm sure his energy and enthusiasm will help the group to grow even further, and reach more people who need help with their reading in Cheltenham and Gloucester."

Jonathan added: "I'm delighted to join the committee, and really excited to get going as a reading coach. Reading skills are fundamental to our lives, so to make a difference to someone wanting to get started with reading - whether reading a safety sign, a form, or the newspaper - will be hugely rewarding."

A Skills for Life survey of 16-65 year olds in 2011 found that 5% of adults in England could only recognise a few common words, and a further 2.1% were barely able to read simple health and safety notices at work. By helping people to tackle their reading difficulties, it is hoped that they will also grow in confidence and self-esteem, become more independent, move on to other forms of education and improve their employment opportunities.

There are many reasons why people may not have learnt to read as children. Read Easy reading coaches minimise the possible stress and embarrassment involved in learning to read as an adult by providing confidential, one-to-one tuition at flexible times and in discreet and convenient places.

If you know someone who would like help with their reading, contact the Read Easy Cheltenham and Gloucester coordinator, at [email protected] or 07984 484813.