Mole Valley Life Young Readers

Mole Valley Life’s Young Readers project, is a remote reading buddy scheme which unites older people within our community, with local school children. By matching “Young Reader” volunteers with “Listening Champion” volunteers, the “Young Readers” are given the opportunity to read aloud once a week to an adult over the phone, at school; building their confidence and love of reading, whilst at the same time helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation in the “Listening Champion”.

“The story was most interesting – it was a factual story about the lifespan of a river from its small beginnings, to growing in size, passing through a city and making its way to the sea.  My ‘Young Reader’ was too shy to engage in conversation at the end but it was the first time for them so I am sure they will gain in confidence over time.  So I look forward to next week’s story”. A Listening Champion

The Mole Valley Life Young Readers pilot began w/c 15th June with volunteer “Young Reader” children from St John’s C of E Primary School in Dorking, reading to local volunteer “Listening Champions”, for approximately 10 minutes, once a week.

“I felt nervous and worried at first but once I read 3 to 4 pages I was fine.  The lady was really, really nice and she said she loved it.  I felt I made a difference to her. I am looking forward to doing this again next week”. A Young Reader

Jacky Fyson, Head Teacher of St John’s C of E Primary School, Dorking, said of the scheme, “We were delighted to be invited to take part in the pilot for Mole Valley Life’s Young Readers project. The values of the scheme align directly with those of our school and build on our partnerships with local older residents and Care Homes. Our “Young Readers” have thoroughly enjoyed selecting their books and are looking forward to reading to their “Listening Champion”. Many of the children have been unable to see their Grandparents due to lock-down, so this is a wonderful opportunity for them to not only practice and improve their reading but to connect with the older generation too. We look forward to watching the children’s literacy and love of reading further flourish over the coming weeks, under the nurturing guidance of Mole Valley Life’s “Listening Champions”.”

“I have just had a phone call from one of our elderly ‘Listening Champions’ who is self-isolating. She was in genuine tears of happiness about her phone call with her ‘Young Reader’ this morning. She cannot wait for next week. She has some difficult things going on in her world and this morning has brought her so much joy!

For further information, please e-mail: or call 01372 204500.