4 April 2019

QA employees help children to read

QA to engage employees in regular volunteering as part of new charity partnership with Coram Beanstalk

QA – the UK's leading IT training provider – has announced that as part of its new charity partnership with national reading charity, Coram Beanstalk, it will be giving staff the opportunity to volunteer regularly during work hours to support children with reading at local primary schools across the country. As part of the newly-launched partnership, QA would like to see around 10% of its workforce volunteering with Coram Beanstalk on a regular basis. QA will also aim to raise at least £50,000 during the course of the next 12 months to help the charity continue to expand its vital work.

Coram Beanstalk is a national children’s reading charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one support to children aged 3 – 13 years old who have fallen behind with their reading levels and confidence. One in four children across the UK leave primary school without the skills to read, whilst 5.1 million adults are functionally illiterate. Disadvantaged children are particularly at risk of falling into a vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty, facing life-long social exclusion.

William Macpherson is CEO of QA:

“If you fall behind in learning to read, you never catch up. Then almost every indicator of life success starts to turn against you. Poor reading causes poor academic performance. Poor performance means less job possibilities, in time lower earnings, a lower standard of living and, amazingly, worse health, lower scores for happiness and even lower life expectancy. Such a huge penalty, and yet such a simple thing to solve. Coram Beanstalk provide volunteers to schools to supplement the teachers’ efforts to help children read.”

Throughout the year-long charity partnership staff whose job roles do not offer the flexibility to volunteer during work hours will have the opportunity to get involved in a range of fundraising activities across its 22 UK-wide training centres as well as participation in challenge events on behalf of Coram Beanstalk and an all-company fundraiser. As part of the employee benefit, QA accommodate up to two days a year of volunteering for a charity of choice – this will continue - the regular volunteering for Coram Beanstalk will be in addition to the existing charity days.

William added “For years at QA we have had staff who want to raise money for our chosen charity, and those who want to give their time. With Coram Beanstalk, for the first time, I think we can do both. Coram Beanstalk will potentially be able to match each of our training centres to local schools, so we can all really see the impact we are having. Each centre will be involved in raising money and, I hope, providing volunteers to help in a school near where our staff work.”

Ginny Lunn is Managing Director of Coram Beanstalk:

"We are so delighted to have been chosen as QA's charity partner for 2019 and particularly excited about the potential to engage so many of their employees in regular volunteering with us. Businesses can play a key role in helping tackle the literacy gap through investing time and money in supporting a skilled future workforce. This is a partnership which will take a proactive approach in doing just that. By bringing together our expertise with theirs we can build a stronger future for the younger generation and create more opportunities to help them thrive.

“Not only will our new corporate volunteers be helping to boost the literacy skills for children who have fallen behind with reading, but they will also benefit themselves. Having the opportunity to contribute beyond the confines of a conventional working life can bring a great sense of satisfaction and greater wellbeing to employees, and we are really looking forward to helping support that by providing meaningful volunteering roles to QA employees,” adds Ginny.

The partnership was launched at a primary school in Battersea where previous top QA fundraisers joined William and Ginny to celebrate the partnership and meet some of the children they will be helping to read throughout the partnership.

Last year, over 3,700 dedicated Coram Beanstalk volunteers supported over 13,400 children in eight regions across England, working to target the most severe pockets of deprivation. Find out more about the partnership by visiting the website www.corambeanstalk.org.uk or www.qa.com. 

Notes to editors:

For further information please contact Kate Rumsby kate.rumsby@beanstalkcharity.org.uk  07912 392275, Sarah Pickstone sarah.pickstone@beanstalkcharity.org.uk, 07815 707701 or Aidy Drummey aidy.drummey@qa.com 07741384944.

About Coram Beanstalk

  • Coram Beanstalk is a national charity that provides one-to-one support to children who struggle with their reading.
  • The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one reading support in primary schools and early years settings. Coram Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers provide one-to-one support to children aged 3 to 13 in a variety of ways, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers.
  • In the last school year the charity helped 13,400 children across England through the help of 3,700 reading helpers, ensuring children have the skills and confidence to reach their true potential.
  • By 2020-21 Coram Beanstalk aims to help 20,000 children every year.
  • Coram Beanstalk is part of the Coram group of charities. For further information visit www.corambeanstalk.org.uk.

About QA

  • QA is the UK's leading IT and business skills providers, specialising in training, consultancy, apprenticeships and post graduate degrees on a range of technical and leadership subjects.
  • With 22 UK-wide training centres – from state-of-the-art Apprenticeships and Consulting Academies, to University campuses and flexible online learning provision, QA offers an unparalleled portfolio of learning solutions to both private and public sector organisations.

For more information visit www.qa.com.

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