“I live in Orpington, I learnt about Turn Around through an Open Day at the Job Centre. I just wanted to learn to read.
By working with a tutor one-to-one has given me more confidence to learn to read, I am not scared of making mistakes. I have had more support than I have ever had before, even at school. It has opened my eyes that reading is not just about books but everyday life; for instance I now try to read road signs instead of just relying on my Tom Tom sat nav.
Turn Around tries to match the tutor to the student as best as possible. For me I don’t think I could have made as much progress if I had a woman tutor. By having a man of a similar age as a tutor has been important to me because I don’t feel embarrassed and can concentrate on my learning.
My mum is delighted. I only wish I had known about Turn Around when I was younger.”
“My son improved and the teaching method is very good. The teachers are very friendly and helpful.”
“What I enjoy mostly about volunteering is making a difference in people's lives. My focus is to help others believe in themselves and support them in building their trust. At times, it can be very difficult but the rewards are priceless.”
“When I started learning English I didn't know anything about it, didn't know how to speak it, so my learning objective before I started was being able to speak the language. I like spending time together and being able to talk with everyone there. I have learnt more English than I knew before and I am speaking more than I used too.”
J came to Britain from the Continent just before the pandemic started, with a plan to improve his spoken English and to develop a business plan. Unfortunately lockdowns hindered his progress and J was struggling to meet English speakers or speak English regularly.
J was staying with family in Orpington and found out about Turn Around when looking for local services that might help him improve his English. J attended twice a week for 3 months. One session was to help J improve his formal English, update his CV, to work on cover letters and a business plan. At the other session J volunteered to help an older student with guided reading. J has now started college. J’s spoken English has improved so much he has enrolled onto GCSE English & maths and an applied science courses. Before coming to Turn Around J had considered signing up for an ESOL course or a functional skills course that would have been too low a level for him.
S was in year 1 when she started at Turn Around. S knew the phonic letter sounds well but was struggling to read fluently. S was not getting enough one-to-one reading support at school, was refusing to read at home and getting upset that she couldn’t read.
S started working with one of our most experienced volunteers, a retired teacher, who patiently helped S put her letter sounds together. By attending once a week for one hour, S was reading fluently in 4-6 weeks. One year on S can read very well for her age group and is progressing in all areas at school.