A charity that promotes reading among children in Oxfordshire has received a donation of almost £12,000.

Bicester-based ARCh has been granted £11,934 by the Well Together Programme to support children in Oxford's Blackbird Leys area.

The programme, run by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action and Community First Oxfordshire, aims to promote health and wellbeing, and to reduce inequality through community-based activities.

The grant will allow ARCh to recruit and train volunteers to offer personalised reading sessions to primary school children.

The volunteers will work with the children for a year, building relationships through sharing books and games provided by ARCh.

Joint CEO of ARCh, Jane Rendle, said: "Receiving the Well Together funding is incredibly valuable to ARCh.

"It will enable us to support more children living in The Leys area.

"Our caring volunteers gain great joy from their ARCh work, developing nurturing relationships with their children, giving them lots of opportunities for success and praise and by the end of the year we see fantastic improvements not only in children’s reading but also in their confidence levels and their self-esteem.

"Research shows that children who enjoy reading lead happier and healthier lives so the funding fits our work very well.

She added: "We are launching a volunteer recruitment drive for the area and anyone who can spare a little time each week can apply via our website."