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70 Eastlands residents improve their literacy skills in Manchester

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70 Eastlands residents improve their literacy skills in Manchester

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Education

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Manchester-based housing association Eastlands Homes has given hands-on help to move than 70 residents who previously struggled to read or write.

The Literacy Beacon project recruits local people as 'champions’ who, in turn, help residents in their own communities to improve their literacy skills. Each learner and champion meet for an hour for six weeks. They begin by agreeing what they want to achieve - such as being able to read the alphabet or write a shopping list.

Eastlands Homes chief executive Sheila Doran said: "This project is having a huge impact and it speaks volumes for the remarkable volunteers in our communities and the ways that we can work together to make a difference."

The housing association said the project is the first of its kind in social housing and the group is delivering workshops and providing support to other organisations who want to run a similar project.

During Adults Learners Week (14-20 June 2014), Eastlands Homes is highlighting the difference Literacy Beacons has made to its customers’ lives, including a 54-year-old man from Gorton who said: "I try and read my letters now when they come through the door and not put them aside like I used to." He’s also gone on to college.

Eastlands Homes continues to support learners once they’ve completed the programme with additional help through their employment support and digital inclusion services.

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