>VRH Interview with Julie Nixon

>Our third and final VRH blog arrives!

The tough economic climate, and forthcoming budget cuts, affect companies, charities and public sector bodies alike. UK readers may have seen Karl Wilding from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations on the television recently, talking about the NCVO’s concerns over the impact of cuts in public sector funding of charities.

Charities like Volunteer Reading Help provide an effective means of supporting children who are struggling with their literacy skills. Just a small gift of three hours a week during school term-times can make such a huge impact on the life of an individual child – and VRH is going from strength to strength in 2010.

‘We’re so proud of increasing the number of children we help by 18% this year,’ Julie Nixon, Director of Services at VRH told Books and Adventures. ‘I foresee many opportunities to provide schools with vital 1-to-1 sessions for their children. We are a cheap alternative to many reading schemes which cost far more, and our intervention is also about the whole child.’

My visit to the Birmingham offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this month opened my eyes to the generosity of firms who work with voluntary sector organisations like VSO. In addition to donating funding and the time of their staff, Julie tells me that PwC also provides rooms to host VRH functions free of charge, giving the charity a vital inner-city base of operations.

Looking to the future, Julie tells Books and Adventures, ‘It would be great if companies would sponsor a local school’s VRH activities, our website, or some of our marketing materials. The support of firms like PwC is a tremendous help.’

To find out more about VRH and how you can get involved, see their website, here.

In additional news, I’m pleased to announce that on October 24th I’ll be running the Birmingham Half Marathon to raise sponsorship for the VRH activities at Herne Bay Infant School in Kent, my former base as a VRH Helper. More news nearer the date!

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