A HOUSEBUILDER has donated £1,000 to an Oxfordshire-based charity that helps children read.

Barratt Homes West Midlands has given the money to Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh) in Bicester as part of its Community Fund scheme.

The charity recruits and provides training and support to reading helpers that offer one to one personalised reading support to children aged six to 11.

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With a growing network of volunteers, ARCh has reading volunteers supporting around 900 children every week in over 120 primary schools across the county, but more are needed.

The charity's headquarters is close to Barratt Homes’ development on Middleton Stoney Road, The Chimes.

Elaine Adams, Development Manager at ARCh, said: “When we heard that Barratt Homes wanted to contribute £1,000 to our organisation, we were overjoyed.

"The donation will make a real difference in ensuring that ARCh sessions are able to continue at a safe distance, using two sets of books.”

To continue their sessions during the pandemic, ARCh has purchased duplicate books to be safely used during their sessions.

Ms Adams said: “Safety of our volunteers, school staff, and the children is paramount, and we have conducted comprehensive risk assessments consisting of extra PPE and duplicate books.

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"The funds from Barratt has meant that we are able to double up on these resources, and we’re able to continue supporting children at a time when they need it most.”