Literacy Champions ready to roll in local communities

As part of our aim to increase literacy levels across our area and improve mental health awareness, we’re delighted to have supported 16 people to become trained Literacy Champions in their communities.

Working with the National Literacy Trust, colleagues from Aspire Housing, PM Training and members of partner agencies including Alice Charity and Friarswood Primary School, were provided with an innovative training day full of ideas and the importance of literacy.

Passionate about improving literacy in our communities

Literacy Champions are people who want to help improve literacy in their community. It could be a parent, business professional, teacher, student, sports coach or anyone passionate about making a difference in their local area.

Stoke-on-Trent is characterised by high levels of deprivation and is currently ranked the 14th most deprived local authority (out of 326) in England. Nearly 133,000 people (over half the population) live in areas classified as being among the top 20% most deprived in England.

Gaps open up at an early age with disadvantaged children less likely to be school-ready at age 5.

Not being able to read, write or communicate well holds people back at every stage of their life. Within Stoke and Newcastle, children who start school from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be 11 months behind those born in more affluent areas by the time they reach school. 

Raising awareness about mental health in children

We’re working alongside children’s author, Richard Bland, and his story ‘AB Gets His Wings’ to promote mental health in children. 

Literacy Champions know their local community and the issues facing it better than anyone. They’ll be engaging with local schools and community groups sharing his story. 

Richard said: “I’m proud to be sharing my story helping to raise awareness about mental health and literacy in local communities.”

Realise charity Programme Manager, Geoff Beadle added: “This is one part of a collective project that will support literacy and mental health in our communities. Working with the National Literacy Trust means we can share knowledge, ideas and best practice to ensure our Champions have the right tools to go into our communities and have the biggest impact.”

Do you want our Literacy Champions to be involved at your school or community group? Get in touch below.