Reading buddies pupils visit Thrings office

Pupils and staff from Whitehall Primary School in east Bristol travelled to the city centre for a tour of Thrings’ offices last week. The visit was organised as part of a reading buddies programme between Whitehall Primary School and Thrings.

The scheme is run in partnership with Ablaze, a Bristol-based charity which aims to develop links between businesses and schools for the provision of structured volunteering opportunities that help raise aspiration, attainment and achievement among the South West’s youth.

Thrings’ involvement with Ablaze was kicked off by partner, Robert Barnes, in 2013 - with Commercial Property paralegal, Lyn Weber, managing Thrings’ 20 volunteers since then. Each week, four members of staff travel to the school to hear the children read – helping to improve their confidence, understanding and enjoyment of reading.

Last week it was the pupils’ turn to see their reading buddies in their day-to-day environment. After a tour of the office, the children joined their buddies at their desks to get a glimpse of working life.

Sophia, a pupil at Whitehall Primary, commented: “I loved spinning on the chairs, looking out of the big windows and asking everyone what problems they solve.”

Jessica Simm, marketing assistant at Thrings said: “It has to be said, not much work got done during that hour. There was a lot of photocopying hands, playing with phones and bashing at keyboards - and that was just the volunteers!”

Miranda Jenkins, head of facilities at Thrings and a reading buddy volunteer, said: “I’m a very keen reader and always have a book on the go, so I’m really enjoying being a reading buddy. I like to think that helping the children with their reading means they start to enjoy it more, rather than find it a chore. The children appear to have found their visit exciting and interesting and it was lovely to have them here.”

To find out more about Ablaze’s reading buddy scheme, please visit the website.

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