Doorstep Library volunteers Karen and James have visited Reya since she was four years old, going to her home each week to read with her and her brother, and lend them both a selection of books chosen especially with their interests and abilities in mind.
Sadly, one-on-one support hasn’t always been available for Reya. Her home environment is loving, but her mum, a single parent, faces health issues and her brother, nine-year-old Jacob, has autism. Mum calls Doorstep Library’s visits a “lifeline” because of how extensively the family’s time is focused on, and dictated by, Jacob’s needs, preventing them from using community services, such as libraries.
Karen and James have always been mindful of Jacob’s needs, and balanced this with ensuring the Doorstep Library visits are fun and rewarding for Reya too, giving her what her mum calls, Reya’s “special time”. Our volunteers have paid attention to Reya’s interests and made sure to bring a steady supply of her favourite book series. Reya has grown into an enthusiastic reader, proudly telling our volunteers when she was named top of her class for reading ability.
This year, Reya’s excellent school report prompted Reya’s mum to tell volunteers Karen and James that: “Doorstep Library has given Reya opportunities she would not be able to otherwise have”.
Reya continues to excel at school, and her mum’s aspirations for Reya’s future education have grown. The idea of finding Reya a scholarship is a frequent topic of discussion between mum and our Doorstep Library volunteers. Reya, now aged seven, continues to thrive and, as her mum looks to find a place at a school that can nurture Reya’s many gifts, we know that Reya’s future looks brighter than ever. Words are taking Reya places, not just in her imagination, but in her life.