Our Reading Partnership with local Waitrose

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Reading Partners At Seevic CollegeStaff members from Waitrose Leigh-on-Sea have been volunteering to help Foundation and Level 1 students at Seevic College, as part of a Reading Partnership Programme.

The Reading Partners from Waitrose have been attending the College once a week since the Programme was launched in September 2014, and will be continuing to volunteer in 2015. The Programme was initially scheduled to run until December 2014, but was so successful that Seevic College and Waitrose both wanted to keep it going.    

All the Reading Partners are giving up their own time to attend the sessions, though Waitrose allows participants in the Reading Partnership Programme time-off work to attend the weekly sessions and arranges shift cover when required – paid for from a budget specifically intended to allow the store to work more with the local community. 

The store’s Corporate Responsibility Group organises staff members’ participation, and Filipe Mineiro – Partnership Coordination Manager at Waitrose Leigh-on-Sea, and himself a volunteer Reading Partner – said: “We’ve had no shortage of people willing to get involved, and staff are really excited about continuing the project in 2015. 

“We’ve had a really great response from our staff, and more volunteers have already signed up; they’re just waiting for their DBS checks to be completed, and are eager to join in with the reading sessions as soon as they can.”

Sam Coombes, Head of Student Services at Seevic College, said: “Our Reading Partnership was inspired by similar programmes currently operated by The BBEC (Basildon Business Education Consortium) Group, where primary schools work with businesses to develop children’s literacy. We wanted to take this idea forward with the young people at our College, and Waitrose have given us some fantastic support.

“The Reading Partnership offers students a non-formal learning environment, where they get the chance to read with people other than their teachers or parents. The Reading Partners are not only helping our students develop vital literacy skills, but providing them with an invaluable insight into the world of work as well.”

Seevic College offers an extensive range of Foundation, Supported and Level 1 learning opportunities. You can find out more by visiting the Skills Academy pages on this website, or by attending the College’s next Open Evening.

Seevic is keen to continue building such profitable relationships within the local community, and would like to hear from any parties wishing to participate in similar projects in the future. You can call 01268 756111 or email us to find out more.


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