On the quest of a wave
Reading Quest, incorporating Numeracy Quest, has three big reasons to celebrate.
- We were the winners of the Pilotlight RBS Graduate project, beating five other charities in a special evening in London. Chief judge was RBS CEO Stephen Hester. Our fantastic winning team of graduates – pictured with RBS mentor Alastair Brown and Pilotlight’s Pippa Lansdell – helped us to launch a global trading arm by producing our first ever numeracy app, called Numbugs. It is now available on the Google Playstore and will be arriving on the Apple platform soon. For further details, see attached publicity and graduate Rachel Short’s blog.
- We have just finished Year 3 of our Big Lottery project in East Oxford and Cowley with some of our best ever results, including pupils obtaining 13 months gains in reading and 8 in spelling. Many thanks go to our fabulous team of specialist tutors.
- Plus, our literacy and numeracy work has spread beyond Oxfordshire. Our maths courses are now being run in six neighbouring counties and are spreading fast, while our literacy work with children has been taken on board by Reading University as we are training some of their education students, the teachers of tomorrow. For further details, see our attached press release.
Reading Quest trustee, Christine Plews, was out cheering her husband and son along the route of the Big Bike Ride in April as they raised funds for the charity.
Chris and Olly Plews cycled 65 miles from Westminster Abbey to Islip (near Oxford), taking in London landmarks, parks and roads, canal towpaths, disused railways, country lanes and market towns.
Chris says: “We had a really good day and the weather was just right, about 12 degrees at the start and then up to 18 degrees by the middle of the day. Quite a change from the average during our training. When I say training, the maximum I did in a day was 30 miles, so well short of the 65 mile target!
“The day itself started with a drive up to London where the two hundred and fifty cyclists were given a blessing by the Dean of Westminster Abbey and sent on their way in groups of ten. The roll out along the Mall, past Buckingham Palace and then through Hyde Park was a great experience and I particularly enjoyed the five miles along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal. My group then took a wrong turn at a marker that had been blown round the wrong way. Most of us soon realised our mistake and turned back, but two people went off ahead at speed and I have to admit we didn’t see them again all day.
“I have always thought of London as being completely flat, but somehow the organisers had decided to spice things up a bit by adding a few climbs. I now know why Harrow-on-the-Hill, and Mount Vernon are so named. Leaving London and crossing over the M25 was a milestone, and our first break after 20 miles for water and bananas was very welcome. The route then meandered along country lanes near Chalfont St Giles and Chesham to our lunch stop at Great Missenden church – bacon butties and more bananas – then on towards Thame by way of the five mile Phoenix trail, which is the route of a disused railway line, so nice and flat.
“The last 15 miles I was very much running on empty, but thanks to some energy bars we made it up the last couple of climbs and it was a great feeling to cross the line. A big thank you to everyone who supported us. We will be close to a thousand pounds by the time we have collected in all the cash plus the gift aid.”
Well done! Now what’s next?
New Patron for Reading Quest
We are delighted to welcome The Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford as a new patron for Reading Quest. Bishop John takes a keen interest in education and we are thrilled to have him on board!
Bishop John was born in Manchester and educated at Arnold School, Blackpool. He first moved to Oxford to study Law at St Peter’s College where he recognised a calling to the ordained ministry. This calling prompted him to take further study in Theology at Cambridge and Durham. Since being ordained in 1972, Bishop John has served in many dioceses across England, becoming Bishop of Oxford in 2007.
Bishop John has written 15 books on various aspects of Christian living and takes a keen interest in education. His wider roles include chairing the Church of England’s Board of Education and being episcopal spokesperson on education in the House of Lords.
Bishop John joins Reading Quest as a patron from January 2013. He says: ‘Reading Quest is a small charity with a big vision. When 20% of children are under-performing at age 11, it has the wisdom to get in early and make a difference before a child’s morale drops too low. I love the energy and imagination of Reading Quest, matched by the skill and experience of its volunteers and small staff. This is a charity to respect and support.’
Welcome, Bishop John!