Project information

Help a child to read in Oxfordshire

To help 60 children in areas of highest deprivation in Oxfordshire who are struggling with their reading in class. Our professionally trained volunteer reading helper works with 3 children twice a week for a year. Giving each child 1 hour of 1-1 personal learning support over 2 days.

1 year

Charity information: Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh)

Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh) logo
  • Need


    Despite many initiatives, there is still a link between social class and educational achievement. The government strategy for children is designed to help all children and young people stay safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve, making a positivie contribution to society and achieve economic well being. ARCh helps children to achieve all these outcomes, and in particular, enjoying and achieving.


    ARCh reading helpers provide one to one support and mentoring to children who may be struggling with their reading, who lack confidence, language skills or parental involvement and support. Over a year the children learn to love reading and their communication skills improve. We help children to develop a love of reading and an opportunity to discover and explore a new world of reading materials.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help 60 more children in Oxfordshire acquire a love of reading.


    » We will recruit, DBS check, train and support 20 volunteers, placing them in primary schools in 2017/2018. Replacing any volunteers who leave.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...60 chidlren in Oxfordshire catching up with their reading skills to a level expected of them for their age.

  • Impact


    Better educated population
    Reduction in anti-social behaviour and crime
    Happier, more confident in adult life
    Enabling more likely access to university education
    More employable young people
    Schools report back on 1 year's intervention showing improvement in attitude and reading skills.
    Success will be 98% improvement in Performance and confidence in reading.


    There is a risk that volunteers will not adhere to the regular twice weekly, 1 years committment to the school. We support and visit volunteers in school to ensure that they feel valued and appreciated in the work they do, and so continue. All volunteers undergo an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check, interview and 2 references are taken up. ARCh has a strict code of practice to protect children and volunteers.


    We send out 3 Newsletters annually reporting on ongoing and forthcoming activities. At the end of each school year monitoring of the service and results are sought and published on our website. 2016 survey results showed increases in self-confidence and general attitude among other improvements.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,360

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,000 Salary, staff & office costs Staff to recruit, train & support 20 local volunteers
      £4,220 Travel & subsistence For 20 volunteers and their supporting staff
      £4,140 Training Initial and on going training of volunteers
      £6,000 Resources Books, games & resources
  • Background


    We are an Oxfordshire based charity working in over 100 primary schools in the county. We target schools in areas of most deprivation. Our volunteers come from Oxfordshire and surrounding Counties to support Oxfordshire children. Target areas: Oxford City (Blackbird Leys, Cowley, East Oxford areas), Banbury (Grimsbury, Bretch Hill), Berinsfield, Bicester and Abingdon South.


    The children who benefit will be aged 6-11. These children will not be living up to their potential due to lack of input at home, language difficulties, lack of confidence etc. Many will be living in these areas of deprivation ie high unemployement, poor education and families with health and or housing issues.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The 1-1 mentoring relationship formed over the year with volunteer and child is immeasurable. Schools have not got the time or finances to offer the luxury of personalised learning on a continued and regular basis from a well-trained, caring adult. To our knowledge this service is not replicated in Oxfordshire by any other organisation.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Christine Williams

    Chris volunteered with ARCh since the charity was formed and over many years has shown reliability, dedication and a passion for helping children read

    Jane Rendle And Elaine Adams

    Jane & Elaine jointly manage the charity with passion and enthusiasm and are key in delivering the aims of ARCh.

ARCh reading helper and child enjoying a book

ARCh reading helper and child enjoying a book


pays for 2 reading sessions for a child

Volunteering with ARCh has given me useful skills and experience as well as increasing my confidence. I feel valued and useful. It's a great way to spend spare time. I'm amazed at what can be achieved in a few hours. A really enjoyable experience, I look forward to each week volunteering.

Volunteer reading helper