ARCh (Assisted Reading for Children) in Bicester was thrilled to receive £3,900 to go towards new books.

The organisation works one-to-one with disadvantaged primary school children in more than 100 schools across Oxfordshire, to help them learn to love reading.

The group has a team of about 260 volunteers who each work with three children for a year, and visit them for an hour-and-a-half twice a week.

Development manager at ARCh Jane Rendle said: “We weren’t expecting this at all and we are absolutely delighted.

“We’ve had to keep it a secret for a while so we can’t wait to tell our 260 volunteers.

“We work with children who are reluctant readers. All our volunteers work with three children for a year so we’ll be buying personalised books.

“We provide games as well. We won’t be buying old fashioned books, we buy ones that are attractive, bright and novelty, so that the children really find a love for reading.”

Back in 2013, a group of volunteers from ARCh who devoted 125 years between them to reading with children were recognised for their work by the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson.

A total of 12 volunteer readers who spent five, 10 or 15 years reading to children in Oxfordshire schools with the charity were presented with long-service awards.

And only earlier this month Sainsbury’s in Pioneer Square, Bicester, donated dozens of books to the charity, as part of a national project handing out literature across the country.

Mrs Rendle said ARCh was always looking for more volunteers to help out at the various schools and that anyone interested should call 01869 320380.