New recruits for literacy support

Vikki Carpenter, left, with new tutors Penny Shand and Annette Holland
Vikki Carpenter, left, with new tutors Penny Shand and Annette Holland

An Ellon-based team giving adult literacy support in the area has expanded its number of volunteers.

A total of 10 new tutors have joined the group run by the council’s Community Learning and Development (CLD) service.

It offers free and confidential one-to-one support to adults throughout Aberdeenshire to improve their reading, writing and numbers.

Vikki Carpenter, a community learning and development worker in Ellon, told the Times: “It could be a parent who is struggling with their child’s homework, a worker who has gained promotion and has to do more paperwork and finds it hard or someone who is needing to change their job and wants improved skills to achieve new goals.

“From 16 to any age this service is free and confidential.”

Vikki explained : “People come to us for many reasons. We have had adults in their 50s and 60s who have lived their lives hiding the fact that they are illiterate, however in this changing world of technology it is becoming harder to hide.

“While public stigma is perhaps lowering due to campaigns in the 70s and 80s like “On the Move” and “The Big Plus”, an individual who has literacy issues will often feel isolated, lack confidence and have a deep feeling of low self-esteem and self-worth.

“It is demoralising and often people with so much potential will struggle to see what they can achieve as they have been told from a young age that they are ‘stupid’.”

The Ellon team have just completed a training programme called SALL (Support for Adult Learning) and have 10 new volunteers joining the existing group ready to help others.

Vikki said: “We want to encourage adults to come forward and seek help about a problem they have struggled with for perhaps years...and change their lives.”

There are now 19 trained volunteer tutors based at CLD in Ellon.