In partnership with Birchfield Primary School, and as part of our Take Part Yarlington Project, we set up a community reading scheme in Yeovil.
We invited members of the local community to take part in the scheme, and over a period of six weeks they shared their love of reading with the puplis, helping them to develop their skills and confidence.
Local resident, Pamela Mcintosh, took part in the scheme. Here's her story:
"I heard about the scheme at the Yarlington Community Café. I thought it was a really good idea and it sounded like it could be good fun so I decided to get involved.
I love listening to my granddaughter read, and thought it would be lovely to hear other children of a similar age read too. I have a teaching degree but have always taught adults within the NHS, so felt this would be an interesting opportunity to use my skills. The setting is really nice and I thought the children would love to come to somewhere away from their school and to engage with other adults.
At the sessions, I listened to the children read. One particular girl named Prya took to me and always came and sat with me, and sometimes her friend Jessica joined us. I answered any questions Prya may have about the difficult words, as she was reading a very advanced book. After the reading I made a note in her reading diary as to what page she read to, and how the reading went. She then chose an activity book, which involved finding objects on different pages, similar to Where's Wally. This often lead to a lot of giggles when we couldn't find the items, and often meant we enlisted the help of Jessica who was very good at spotting them!
I have made a new friend in Prya and Jessica, it gave me something to look forward to on a Friday afternoon. The scheme was a reason to get out of the house, if I did not do this I would probably have just sat indoors. I always walk to the hall so it also did me good physically. It made me smile to see them all come in so bouncy, happy and full of life - it lifted my spirit.
I would definitely recommend volunteering as it gives you a sense of worth, of doing something to benefit other people."
If you're feeling inspired to get involved in your community and would like to find out about volunteering opportunitites in your area, take a look at our Volunteer Page.
For local support, services and activities that could improve your health and wellbeing, visit wellbeingsouthsomerset.org.
Through our Take Part Yarlington project we're working with Yarlington Housing Group to reduce social isolation and connect residents with their communities. Find out more here.