AN 86-year-old woman has been giving up her time for 11 years to help children read.

Alice Priestly is an established volunteer for the children’s literacy charity Beanstalk and provides reading support for children at Bickershaw CE Primary School.

She provides one-to-one literacy support to children to help them enjoy reading books and playing games together.

She said: “It is a very interesting voluntary role as each child is different and so rewarding when you see their confidence grow.”

Beanstalk volunteers visit a school twice a week and spend 30 minutes with each child, reading, talking and playing games.

Head teacher Paul Radcliffe said: “Alice’s weekly input is an intrinsic part of our work, building confidence and self-esteem, encouraging her pupils to taste the sense of achievement.

“To convey how much her efforts mean to us, the school nominated Alice for an unsung hero award in the local community, which she received at a special presentation.”

The charity is need of more volunteers so to find out more call 01204 532421, email or