"COME along. See what you think."
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That's the advice from a recent graduate of an adult literacy tutor training course at the Neighbourhood Centre to those who might be thinking of doing the same.
Fiona Spellman is one of a number of locals who are now ready to offer voluntary one-on-one tutoring to adults who are struggling with literacy or numeracy.
The Neighbourhood Centre's Jackie Lanigan said the tutoring will be offered in a private setting "because that just reduces the stress that people can sometimes feel or experience".
Adult literacy tutor trainer Leigh Haywood, meanwhile, said a number of tutors have been trained, but "we are always looking for more".
"There's a great deal of unmet need, including from people who are often very nervous about wanting to come to somewhere like the Neighbourhood Centre," she said.
"We really want to encourage people who might be struggling with their literacy or their numeracy or their digital literacy to just come and talk to Jackie at the Neighbourhood Centre.
"We can match you with a tutor, meet you where you are and help you meet your individual needs and goals.
"And if you're interested in being a tutor, we've always got more spaces and we're hoping to run another training program early next year.
"It's about one hour a week of commitment. If you are interested in helping somebody really open up their life to the world of literacy and numeracy, then the Neighbourhood Centre would love to hear from you."
Tutor Ms Spellman, who is a Girl Guides leader in Bathurst, said "being involved in the community has really been ingrained in my brain since I was a kid".
"When I finished uni, it was more, what else can I do? How else can I give back to the community?" she said.
"One of my uni friends did placement here at the Neighbourhood Centre and spoke all about the tutoring program that's done and I basically rocked up and said sign me up.
"I have been tutoring two lovely young ladies in English and helping them with assessments and reading and it's been a lot of fun and I absolutely love giving back to the community."
Having completed the training course, Ms Spellman will now be able to help an adult beginner reader.
As for her advice to someone thinking about becoming a tutor?
"Meet the people who are involved and it may be scary, it may be very intimidating, but you will get a lot out of it and you will feel more confident in yourself afterwards," she said.
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