London-based charity the Literacy Pirates is appealing for more people from the book world to volunteer their skills to help young people.
The organisation, which has hubs in Dalston and Tottenham, runs an after-school learning programme for children aged nine to 13. The teacher-led programme works with children referred by their school, who are falling behind and have fewer advantages because of their personal circumstances.
Children are tasked with creating published books, films and apps that are showcased at the Hackney Pirates bookshop, local radio and cinemas.
The charity is now looking for people to join its one-to-one buddy system, where one “Young Pirate” is partnered with a volunteer.
Those who want to take part need to commit to at least one session a month and can sign up on the charity’s website, where donations can also be made.
Chief executive Jude Williams said: "Each volunteer is a personal cheerleader for the children we work with. While the programme is devised and led by teachers, having an adult encourage and support the young pirates each session, creates the positivity that helps turn these children into successful learners and confident individuals. As a volunteer you work with one or a couple of children at a time; reading with them and then helping them work on their story writing.
"It can be hard for our young pirates to focus, and to keep going when it gets tough so volunteers become a really important motivator. Over 90% of parents and teachers report that the young pirates are more confident in the classroom and able to keep going when things get hard. Without volunteers, we would not be able to have such a meaningful impact on our young pirates."