Princess Anne visits Peterborough library to support charity helping adults learn how to read

Charity Read Easy UK’s CEO hopes the Princess Royal’s visit to the city will inspire people to seek help from the charity

By Adam Barker
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 9:28 am

Princess Anne visited Peterborough Central Library to meet with organisers of a charity that teaches adults how to read.

Princess Anne, Her Majesty The Queen’s daughter, met organisers of the charity Read Easy UK, a national charity that provides free one-to-one reading coaching for adults who cannot read.

“Princess Anne was a lovely lady,” Chris Campling, Read Easy UK’s Peterborough co-ordinator, said after her visit to the city on 17 May.

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HRH Princess Royal spent one hour with the charity Read Easy, as part of her visit to Peterborough Central Library (image: David Lowndes)

“She asked all sorts of pertinent questions. It didn't matter what level anyone was at - she talked to them all.

“She was genuinely interested in people’s stories and very knowledgeable as well.

"She knew about the education system in England and understood how it had failed some people for one reason or the other.

“People’s lives are transformed by learning to read. You only have to look at some of the people here today – it has changed their lives.”

Princess Anne made her way to the library after being flown to Peterborough by helicopter (image: David Lowndes)

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Read Easy UK CEO, Carla Priddon, said there are 2.4 million adults in the UK who are unable to read.

Nationally, the charity is currently working with 600 adults, in 81 volunteer-led groups across the country, while in Peterborough 10 adults are being supported with their literacy skills.

“Read Easy UK is the only charity helping adults learn how to read,” she said. “There is still a stigma about not being able to read - the oldest person we have taught to read was in their eighties.

The Peterborough arm of the charity has been set up for 10 years.

“The education system is ‘one size fits all’ - but that doesn’t fit everybody. It’s quite easy for people to fall through that net.

“People tend to come to us around a life event - they might have children who they want to learn to read with, or they might have lost a loved one who used to support them and help them mask it

“We hope today’s royal visit will amplify the stories of our readers and valued volunteers so that people in the local community can take the advantage of the opportunity we are offering them if they are unable to read.”