When someone finally plucks up the courage to seek help from FRED, it usually starts with a phone call to 07746 371353 and a chat with our Coach co-ordinator. However, we know that even to get to this stage, can be very difficult. It may be after several false starts, perhaps dialling and then switching off before anyone answers, or listening to the answerphone, but not leaving a message.
The first chat:
For whoever answers the FRED phone, the main aim of that first chat is to find out why the
potential Learner wants help, where they live, answer any questions/concerns, and invite them to
Allocating a coach:
To provide the best help for a Learner, it is important that our Coach Co-ordinator has a good understanding of the specific challenges for a Learner, so she can offer the most appropriate Coach to provide learning support. Meeting the new Learner at a neutral location, is an important part of this process. There are many things that may affect the choice of Coach, including mobility issues, location, availability, and reading level, but there are no formal tests or application forms. Any information shared with FRED, will be totally confidential.
First meeting with a reading coach:
Once a Coach has been allocated to a new Learner, he/she will make contact by phone or message, to arrange a meeting. This is an opportunity for the Coach to find out more about what the Learner wants to achieve, their interests, any anxieties, and what support they may have at home, as well as when and where it will be convenient to meet. Anyone who has difficulty getting to meetings because of health or other issues, may be offered the option of remote meetings, or the loan of a FRED laptop.
On going support:
The usual arrangement is for Learners to meet their Coaches twice a week on a regular basis, for about half an hour at a time. However, because this is a one to one programme, arrangements can be altered at any time. It is important to remember that learning to read as an adult is not a quick fix, and requires determination and encouragement. The most successful Learners have a good support network from family or friends, to help them keep going. Even so, family crises or ill health may mean the Learner needs to have a break from lessons. Whatever the situation, the FRED Coach will be there to remind his/her Learner what they have achieved, encourage them to keep going, and adjust goals as needed.