Staff at Northumberland manufacturer Dräger Safety UK sign up to support reading charity Chapter One

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Staff at a Northumberland firm have delivered dozens of reading sessions with primary school children as part of an ongoing charity partnership.

Dräger Safety UK, which is headquartered in Blyth, has announced its partnership with literacy charity Chapter One has been renewed for another year, with workers already delivering 147 reading sessions so far.

Employees at the safety technology manufacturer that volunteer for the scheme are partnered with a primary school-aged child in the UK for weekly 30-minute online reading sessions.

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Juliana Okodoa, a senior quality engineer at Dräger who has volunteered with the programme for eight months, said: “I always look forward to my Tuesday reading call. It is very rewarding to see the improvement in the child you are partnered with.

Dräger staff have been taking part in online reading sessions with primary school children. (Photo by Dräger)Dräger staff have been taking part in online reading sessions with primary school children. (Photo by Dräger)
Dräger staff have been taking part in online reading sessions with primary school children. (Photo by Dräger)

“I have children of my own, one a similar age to the child I read with through the programme, so I know the difference that reading makes.

“As with all children, they tend to relate differently to adults that are not their parents. It gives me real joy and satisfaction.”

Dräger is one of 140 businesses across the UK that Chapter One works with.

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The charity estimates that the pupils they work with increase their literacy levels by an average of 44%.

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Chapter One’s CEO, Emma Bell, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating our second year working with the team at Dräger, who together with our other corporate partners across the UK are helping us to support nearly 3,000 children with over 15,000 hours of reading support so far this school year.

“By providing children with effective, one-to-one reading support at the time they need it most, these wonderful volunteers are helping to develop fundamental reading skills and inspire a love for reading from an early age.”

Dave Head, head of safety marketing at Dräger Safety UK, added: “As a family-owned business Dräger is deeply committed to its work with local communities and to contributing positively to wider society, and our partnership with Chapter One is one way in which we are working to support this goal.

“We are delighted to be celebrating our partnership with Chapter One today.”

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