Elaine and Jane ran the Oxfordshire branch of a national charity called Volunteer Reading Help until 2008 when the charity closed 5 branches in the South of England due to a lack of funding. At this time there were 120 volunteers supporting 360 children across Oxfordshire.
With help from many local supporters,ARCh was set up as an independent charity to carry on the good work, focussing purely on Oxfordshire.
In that time we have more than doubled the number of children we help each year thanks to the ever increasing pool of volunteers. The charity’s work is unique in Oxfordshire.
In 2016 ARCh won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
ARCh is the current OCVA Oxfordshire Charity of the Year and the Cherwell Business Awards Charity of the Year.
Following the COVID cris we need to bring a life enhancing love of reading to thousands of children in Oxfordshire. We need more volunteers to join us and funding to help us source the perfect books and games to hook even the most reluctant readers.
A love of reading is the key skill for a happy and successful life at school and beyond. yet many children have been disengaged from reading and missing out on education since March, impacting on their confidence. happiness and life prospects - a problem for the community as a whole.
ARCh volunteers work one to one with children in primary schools; they become special friends over the course of a year, make the children feel valued and give them the confidence to achieve. We work with the volunteers to find resources that will interest the children and develop a love of reading.
Imparting a love of reading for purpose and pleasure is so very rewarding. The intervention enhances not only the children's well-being but the volunteers' as well.
It is often said that it takes a whole village to raise a child and we are calling on the whole community to help us help more children to enjoy happy reading and happy lives.
Please donate to help!