ADULT literacy charity Read Easy UK has appointed Carla Priddon as its new CEO. Carla joins Read Easy after 20 years in the charity sector – the last five years at The Way Youth Zone, a charity that provides a state of the art, youth-led space for young people in Wolverhampton.
Carla was responsible for growing The Way from a start-up, to a project which now has an average of 60,000 visits each year from young people across the city, as well as 50 staff, over 100 volunteers and an income of £1.2 million.
“I am very excited to build on the great work achieved so far by Read Easy UK and look forward to working with the extremely dedicated team to continue the charity’s growth and shape the future of adult literacy in the UK.”
Carla replaces Read Easy UK’s founder Ginny Williams-Ellis who will retire at the end of March, nearly 11 years after starting the charity in 2011. It was while working as a literacy tutor in prisons that Ginny first became aware of the number of adults who struggle with even the most basic level of reading. Official data confirmed that the situation was more widespread than just prisons – 2.4 million adults in England alone can barely read or can’t read at all.
Ginny started the first volunteer-led Read Easy group covering Dorchester and Weymouth in 2010. Read Easy UK was then formally established in 2011 and now has 50 affiliated groups across England with over 1100 volunteers providing free one-to-one reading coaching for adults who are unable to read. This year Read Easy was featured in BBC 1 programme ‘Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51’ where Jay documented his own journey learning to read with the charity.
Commenting on Carla’s appointment, Paul Mugford, Chair of Trustees at Read Easy UK said:
“We are absolutely delighted that Carla has agreed to join us to build on the exceptionally strong base laid down by Ginny, our founder. The depth of experience that Carla brings will lead us into our expansion programme and strengthen our position as a national voice for adult literacy.”
Carla takes up her new post this week and will officially take over as CEO on 1st April 2022, after a six-week handover period prior to Ginny’s departure.