A CHARITY that helps disadvantaged children develop their literacy skills has received a donation from an award-winning housebuilder.

Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh), based in Bicester, was given £1,590 from CALA Homes.

Working in 100 schools with 260 volunteers, the charity enables hundreds of children to boost their self-confidence and discover a love for reading.

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The money was granted by the housebuilder after the charity applied for a share of its CALA Community Bursary where it awarded £15,000 to help fund projects that make a difference in the local area.

Oxford Mail:

The funding will go towards ARCh's robust recruitment and training programme to support volunteers as they are equipped.

Elaine Adams, Development Manager at ARCh, said: “I am thrilled that ARCh has received this funding from CALA Homes. We’ve been growing our charity since 2008, and since then, we’ve had an immense impact on the local community.

"Thanks to CALA Homes, we can continue to expand and help more disadvantaged children and widen their opportunities.

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“Our ultimate aim is to improve children’s basic literacy skills, self-confidence and ability to communicate in order to improve their long term prospects, divert them from social exclusion and anti-social and criminal behaviour.”

ARCh recruit, train and support volunteers from the community and some businesses to give one-to-one support to children between the ages of six to 11.

Volunteers visit the same three children twice a week for a whole year and read with them for half an hour at a time, equating to a total of up to 39 hours of individual reading support for the children who need it most across the year. 

CALA Homes is currently building homes at Kingsmere in Bicester.

Mark Wright, Managing Director at CALA Homes (Midlands), said: “CALA has always been committed to making a positive and lasting contribution to the local communities in which it builds and the Community Bursary scheme has given us the opportunity to discover exactly what support is required locally.

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"We’re delighted to be supporting ARCh and I look forward to seeing how the funding will help to boost the confidence of children across Oxfordshire. We hope the charity can continue to open a world of opportunities through their inspirational work and bring back a love of reading into children’s hearts.”