As a local employer Ringway prides itself in supporting the local community in which its employees live and work. On 5 June, Ringway staff gave their support and time to transform a disused space to create an outdoor reading garden as part of the ‘Give & Gain Day’, Business in the Community’s annual day of action for employee volunteering.
Chestnut Street C of E primary school, located in Ruskington, benefits from the development of a new space that will inspire pupils to read, overcoming barriers to literacy.
Ringway Business Development Manager Steve Scawthon said: “Ringway is committed to helping community schemes that improve the lives of local people. Working at Chestnut Street School C of E primary school has been a great project. We are proud to have created an ideal space for the pupils to enhance their reading skills.”
Chestnut Street C of E primary school head teacher, Christine Breckon said: “Ringway has made our dreams come true! Through their tremendous hard work and total enthusiasm, they have transformed an uncared for area of our school grounds into an imaginative garden which will be a meeting place for our children and where they can extend their learning in the outdoor environment. Our pupils and staff are very grateful to the team from Ringway led by Stephanie Medley for such a superb gift to the school. A huge thank you from us all.”
“The children today are the future workforce of the United Kingdom, and vital to ongoing economic development and commercial success,” Catherine Sermon, Business in the Community, National Community Impact Director said. “Employee volunteers give their valuable time, skills and leadership, and business will gain from their enhanced skills, and the future skills of young people we help today.”
“Where you read can be as important as what you read in encouraging literacy, so we’re delighted that BITC is continuing to support the creation of reading spaces in schools – it’s a great piece of legacy from our partnership during the National Year of Reading,” Honor Wilson-Fletcher, Strategic Development Director, National Literacy Trust commented. “Give & Gain Day will help provide the right environment to inspire young people to read, and to value the experience of reading. Literacy changes lives, so this is a great and prudent investment by the business community in the futures of young people in the UK.”
For details on the benefits and characteristics of reading gardens, visit the Reading for Life website.
Notes to Editor
Literacy continues to be a significant barrier for young people achieving their aspirations through education. According to the Leitch review of Skills (2007), 6.8 million adults cannot add or subtract three-digit numbers, and one in six adults cannot look up a plumber in the Yellow Pages. Many of the projects for Give & Gain Day are located in areas of deprivation where children face multiple barriers to learning and literacy. According to Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) April figures, the total number of 16- to 18-year-olds classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET) increased by 8.5% in 2008.
Forty per cent of jobs in the 2020 employment market will need a graduate level qualification, yet 70 per cent of the 2020 UK workforce is already employed and half the current workforce is not qualified beyond Level 2 (5 GCSEs).