Dan Snow thanks Shrewsbury volunteer for 18 years supporting local school children with reading

Last Monday award-winning TV historian and Beanstalk Ambassador Dan Snow took time before his talk ‘An evening with the History Guy’ at the Theatre Severn to meet and thank Beanstalk’s longest-serving volunteer in Shropshire Ann Powis for her work supporting local primary school children with reading. He came along to Beanstalk’s stand in the foyer of the theatre to present Ann with tickets to see his talk which he had kindly donated to Beanstalk.

Ann has been a Beanstalk reading helper for 18 years and in that time as helped so many primary school children in Shrewsbury enjoy books and become more confident readers.

Gail Washington is Area Manager for Beanstalk in the Midlands:

“We are so delighted that Dan was able to come along to the Beanstalk stand ahead of his show to meet Ann and to present her with tickets for the talk. As our longest-serving volunteer in Shropshire she is an absolutely incredible lady and has helped improve the outcomes for so many children through the years. Thank you so much to Ann and to Dan for helping recognise the contribution she makes to the local community.”

Ann said: “I am delighted to be presented with this amazing surprise to see Dan Snow who is one of my all-time favourites. Thanks so much to Beanstalk.”

The Shrewsbury primary school where Ann volunteers said: "We think the world of Ann and the support and encouragement she has given the children over many years is very valuable to our school. Ann has enabled the children to practice their reading skills and increase their reading attainment. The children through this support have enjoyed the fun which Ann facilitates for them while reading “

Beanstalk is currently active in a number of primary schools across Shrewsbury and Telford but is keen to increase its reach and help more children by partnering with additional schools in these areas. Any schools wanting to find out more can contact the local team via the website (www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk) or by calling 0845 450 0307 to discuss how Beanstalk can help deliver its one-to-one reading programmes to children in their schools.

As a Beanstalk ambassador Dan is a passionate supporter of the national reading charity and is keen to promote the importance of getting children excited about books and literacy. He is very proactive in promoting Beanstalk’s vision to help the charity deliver more one-to-one support to children aged 3 to 13 with reading, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers.

“Through my work I visit a lot of schools and have seen the importance of reading. In today’s world, without literacy, you’ve got nothing. You cannot engage with the internet, you can’t engage fully with society, and so it’s enormously important that we support children with their literacy now to give them the best chance of a successful future. Beanstalk is really taking the fight on illiteracy into schools, taking it to young people. Not being able to read is a very real problem, but it is a solvable problem. Beanstalk’s volunteers make such a difference to the lives of the children they support, helping them face the world with confidence.”


To find out more about becoming a Beanstalk partner school in Shrewsbury and Telford, please:


Visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

Call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0307 or

Email [email protected] 


Anyone wishing to become a Beanstalk volunteer can also find the online application form on the website.


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Notes to the editor:


For further information contact Sarah Pickstone, [email protected], 07815 707701 or Kate Rumsby, [email protected], mobile 07912392275.

Further images of Beanstalk trained reading helpers reading with children are available on request.


About Beanstalk


Beanstalk is a national charity that provides one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading.

The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in primary schools and early years settings.

Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers provide one-to-one support to children aged 3 to 13 in a variety of ways, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers.

In the last school year the charity helped over 11,000 children across England, in over 1,400 schools, with the help of over 3,000 reading helpers, ensuring children have the skills and confidence to reach their true potential.

By 2020-21 Beanstalk aims to help 30,000 children every year, with 8,000 volunteers.