YEP Says, February 3: A new chapter in our bid to get city pupils reading

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...and Kate’s compassion is catching on

TWO years ago, the YEP called on readers to volunteer to read with schoolchildren in the city as part of our Get Leeds Reading campaign.

The response was fantastic, with many answering the call by signing up with the charity Beanstalk, who gave them the training they needed to make a difference.

The result is that youngsters struggling with their reading have been given much-needed help. Their confidence has shot up and so has their reading ability.

Now we’re asking again.

The reason is that almost 1,000 pupils a year in Leeds are leaving primary school without learning to read properly.

That doesn’t just put them at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the qualifications they need to forge a decent life for themselves, it also means they will struggle with everyday things such as reading a bus timetable.

But it’s not just the city’s children who benefit from Get Leeds Reading.

Among those who answered our call last time were Hazel and Bob Rand, who say that getting involved is the best thing they have ever done, while organisers praise their “fantastic impact” on the children.

So if you love reading and want to do something worthwhile, what better way to improve the lives of youngsters who just need someone willing to give them a helping hand?

Kate’s compassion is catching on

THE best ideas are often the simplest, a mantra which certainly applies to the ‘Hello, my name is...’ crusade on compassion launched by terminally-ill West Yorkshire doctor Kate Granger.

But Kate’s point at the outset of a tramuatic year in which she fears she will succumb to cancer is an important one. Having experienced the NHS as both a consultant and patient, she was surprised by the number of medical staff reluctant to introduce themselves with a degree of empathy.

With 400,000 staff and counting having now signed up to this initiative, Kate’s well on her way to changing the NHS for the better.