LTR is working to change the 'Reading' culture in disadvantaged areas of Ipswich and to make all organisations aware that high numbers of their customers/clients (and possibly staff) who struggle with reading.

These are both seen as long term challenges, which will not be solved by a short-term programme, however comprehensive. We are, therefore, developing a sustainable, relentless campaign in all the disadvantaged areas and with all key organisations.

  • Campaigning to encourage a change of culture so that struggling readers ask for help: 'Right to Read' and friends offer to: "Teach a Friend to Read".
  • Engage businesses in supporting the project.
  • Offering family book-bags to struggling communities: get books into homes.
  • Attending community events and talking to MPs, Councillors and other decision-makers.

Getting Books into Homes

Very few disadvantaged homes have books and a culture of reading regularly. LTR believes that to change this, parents need to be engaged during the children's 'early years' and books and guidance have to be provided from ante-natal classes onwards.

  • We work with Suffolk Babies to engage with parents from these ante-natal sessions onwards, and we offer free book-bags each year for the child.
  • We work with 40 early years settings across Ipswich, which we visit once or twice per term to demonstrate to parents and staff how to read to children, and to demonstrate how much the children actually love these sessions.
  • We give away free book-bags to two, three and four-year-olds via each of these settings.
  • We regularly attend the Job Centre and give away free books to parents and children during those sessions.
  • We also attend community events, like the Gainsborough Fun day and the Chantry Book Jam, and take the opportunity to talk the families and give away free books.
  • We give away several hundred "Teach a Friend to Read" manuals each year, free, via libraries, schools, charity partners and businesses.

Family Book-bags
We also give away free family book-bags, with an appropriate book for each person in the family, via schools, EY settings, churches and agencies like HomeStart and ICENI.

We have just collaborated with the Raedwald Trust and Copleston High School to supply 220 books to disadvantaged families via their "Community Shelf" initiative: see our news item here.

Informing Organisations

Most organisations are unaware of the national statistic that 1 in 6 adults struggle with reading.

We believe that, since most of these poor/non readers will be found in disadvantaged areas, the proportion in those areas is likely to nearer to 1 in 3. Thus, the organisations dealing with disadvantaged people should assume that 1 in 3 will struggle with reading, forms, letter etc..

We have informed, and continue to update:

  • IBC Housing Officers
  • Job Centre staff
  • Citizens Advice Centre staff
  • Family Support Workers
  • Charities: HomeStart, ICENI

We also inform local politicians on a regular basis:

  • Ipswich MPs
  • Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council Councillors