Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.56.04Volunteers are needed to share the insights and experiences which have shaped their careers to help secondary school pupils to prepare for work.

The National Literacy Trust is launching its communication and employability project Words for Work as part of the Middlesbrough Reading Campaign which is joining forces with High Tide Foundation to recruit volunteers.

18 volunteers are needed to go into the Macmillan Academy, Unity City Academy and Ormesby School and work with pupils in years eight and nine who are starting to think about potential future careers. In a series of four workshops, led by a teacher, volunteers will work with small groups of students to on communication and presentation skills while sharing their own experience of life in the workplace.

Words for Work is an exciting programme which provides young people with the literacy skills they need to shape and achieve their aspirations. The programme focuses on demonstrating the importance of literacy for success in employment, improving young people’s communication and literacy skills and giving them confidence in their own abilities. After completing the programme, young people will be able to adapt their communication style to suit the workplace, ask well structured questions to build their knowledge, listen effectively and understand how to communicate clearly both verbally and on paper.

The National Literacy Trust’s Middlesbrough Hub Manager, Allison Potter says:

Words for Work really helps young people who are starting to think about possible future careers to prepare for the world of employment. Volunteers will be richly rewarded for sharing the experiences and insights which have shaped their own working lives through seeing young people’s skills and confidence develop. Volunteers from different backgrounds and varied experiences in the workplace are vital for the programme’s success.

“We’re delighted to be launching Words for Work in Middlesbrough and working with the High Tide Foundation which is committed to improving education and employment opportunities in Teesside. It’s organisations like these which are vital for supporting the Middlesbrough Reading Campaign’s aim to raise literacy in the area. 

A previous Words for Work volunteer said: “If you want to step up to something very different, challenge your own thoughts and skills, the Words for Work project is a must. Would I volunteer again? Absolutely!”

No previous experience of teaching or working with young people is necessary as full training will be provided. All volunteers need is a genuine desire to work with young people and to be patient and flexible.

Words for Work begins with a short online module that covers key communication skills and advice on working with young people. There is also an evening meeting with the teacher before meeting pupils.

The first school to confirm dates is Macmillan Academy where the evening meeting  will take place at 5pm on Wednesday 3 June. Workshops with volunteers will be on Thursday mornings between 9am-11am for four weeks from 11 June.  To find out more or sign up, please contact Words for Work Project Manager, Lucy Kerrigan at

To express your interest in becoming a Words for Work volunteer at Unity City Academy or Ormesby School please complete this online form: