Katie Dickinson, 31, is a legal secretary at Addleshaw Goddard. She volunteered for Learning Partnerships throughout last year

Why and when did you become involved with Learning Partnerships? Addleshaw Goddard is one of the scheme's sponsors, so after speaking to colleagues who had volunteered, I decided to put my name forward and completed its reading-assistance training in November 2002. The scheme fits in well with my days because it allows me to go to the school during my lunch break. The schools involved with the scheme are usually in deprived or inner-city areas. It is very worthwhile because reading is taken for granted by most of us, yet for these children, help with reading builds their self-esteem and confidence.

Approximately how much time do you give per year? I spend one hour at Wykebeck Primary School in Leeds every week, giving four children 15 minutes each of undivided attention. Reading is very valuable to them, which they show by jostling to be first in the queue.

What qualities do you bring to the charity?

I'm patient and encouraging.

Do reading help charities have enough volunteers? There will always be more children who need help with their reading, so more volunteers are always appreciated.

Do you consider new approaches from organisations? Work commitments make it difficult but if my situation changes I would consider approaches from children's charities.

What is the most annoying thing about being approached? I dislike being cold-called. I'd much rather have a colleague recommend a charity to me.

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