Rotary Club of Reading

Life Education Programme

Coram Life Education is a charity that started in Australia in the 1970s by Fred Nobbs. When Prince Charles visited Australia in the 1980s he was so impressed by the project that he encouraged its development in the UK. In 2009 Life Education UK merged into Coram one of the UK's oldest children's charities being founded in 1739. Handel was an early supporter and gave concerts at the Coram Hospital to raise funds.
Locally, the Thames Valley Life Education Centre's 'Life Bus' - a specially equipped mobile classroom - visits Primary Schools across Berkshire to help 4 to 11 year olds understand healthy lifestyles. It is designed to deliver a series of programs tailored to each school year to compliment the current schools' curriculum in educating young people. Using the character of Harold the giraffe, the Educator uses models, videos, language and role play to help the children understand how their bodies work and how the things that they eat and drink can affect them. It also enables them to understand issues such as friendships, bullying and negative peer pressure.
The Charity, praised by Ofsted and Sure Start, plans each session to the appropriate age range, concentrating on diet and exercise with the younger pupils and leading up to the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs for the older ones. The overall aim is to increase their understanding of these issues so they can make informed choices about their own habits.
Reading Rotary Club became involved in 2006 when a few members were invited to a meeting by Bill Brindley of the Easthampstead Rotary Club. This club was already involved in promoting LE in their part of Berkshire and were seeking to encourage other clubs to do likewise. Since then and as a result of Reading Rotary Club's initiative, thousands of pupil presentations have been made to Reading Borough primary children over the years and currently six Reading schools who were seed corn funded by Reading Rotary actively take the programme each year with over 2000 children benefitting. Two more schools were also helped in 2015 when they had an unexpected financial shortfall.
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Related links

• Coram Life Education Go visit >