British literacy charity Beanstalk is delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will become its Patron, as the charity celebrates its 40 Anniversary year.

The Duchess this week met Beanstalk volunteers at St Mary’s RC Primary School, Battersea. The school has been working in partnership with the charity since 2011 as one of the flagship schools of the charity’s ‘Get London reading’ campaign with the London Evening Standard. It benefits from 25 volunteer reading helpers from all walks of life, including a retired actor, a nurse and a former Serjeant-at-Arms at the House of Commons.

Sue Porto, chief executive of Beanstalk, commented: "We are thrilled to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall as the Patron of Beanstalk.

"We are honoured to receive her support and hope that together we can encourage more people to volunteer as reading helpers, to provide one-to-one support to children who are struggling with their reading."

The Duchess of Cornwall has often spoken about her passion for literature and is a committed supporter of the battle to get children reading.

Touring the school, the Duchess met Beanstalk reading helpers Isobel Patchett, Robert Noble and Jacky Parry at work with their reading sessions, before reading Jack and the Beanstalk to a group of 15 children in the school’s library. Her Royal Highness then joined a small reception where she met more of the school’s volunteers.

In 2013 Beanstalk plans to grow further and faster, expanding its reach from an established network of branches, and forging strategic partnerships to sustain growth across the organisation.

By the end of the current academic year, with the help of over 2,500 volunteer reading helpers, the charity aims to support at least 7,500 children in 1,300 schools across England and aims to work with 10,000 children a year by 2016.

To find out more about how to volunteer, contact the charity on 020 7729 4087 or visit

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