Thames Reach Endorses Literacy100’s Charter
The Charter outlines a range of expectations to support individuals with experience of homelessness in developing essential literacy skills
Literacy, including digital literacy, is now more critical than ever in enabling people to lead fulfilling lives, as even basic tasks like accessing benefits or communicating with healthcare professionals require a certain level of literacy skills. We know through our own programmes that people coming to us for help with apparently more ‘urgent’ needs such as paying rent or preventing eviction, often struggle with an underlying lack of essential skills including literacy.
Despite the critical importance of literacy, the need for support isn’t always adequately met within traditional educational settings, particularly in colleges that may not be structured to address the unique challenges of individuals with difficulties or traumas related to learning.
Literacy100 is a vital organisation addressing the pressing issue that an estimated half of those with experience of homelessness struggle with literacy skills.
Recognising literacy as a fundamental human right, Thames Reach fully supports Literacy100’s recently published Charter for Adults with Experience of Homelessness. The Charter outlines essential expectations to empower individuals with experience of homelessness through literacy, including:
– Community Support: Access to local options for developing reading and writing skills and enriching experiences through shared reading activities.
– Organisational Commitment: Homelessness and housing organisations must recognise and address literacy needs as a core part of their work, providing access to technology for literacy enhancement.
– Education Support: Learning providers should allocate skilled teachers, flexible provisions, and sustained support for learners with literacy challenges, including specific learning difficulties.
– Policy Advocacy: National and local policy-makers should prioritise addressing literacy needs and allocate resources accordingly.
“Not being able to read and write is both a cause and a symptom of homelessness. It is a barrier to recovery and being able to move on with your life after homelessness.
Our dedicated Employment and Skills team works to help the people who use our services to build these essential skills, but our resources are limited, and this isn’t something we can do on our own. We need access to dedicated local resources as well as funding to continue to provide the support we do.
We support the Literacy 100 Charter and call on others to do the same, and to support the people we work with to get the help they need to take control of their lives and participate in society.”
– Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive at Thames Reach
Join us in championing literacy as a transformative force for individuals with experience of homelessness. Learn more about Literacy100’s Charter and their impactful work by visiting their website.