Cavell Leitch helps out many charities in our community through its association with United Way and through our newsletter we would like to put a spotlight on charities who have been helped by United Way.

This month's spotlight is on the Adult Reading Assistance Scheme (Christchurch) (soon to be "Literacy Christchurch").

"It's everyone's right to read and write"

Providing voluntary tutoring services in Christchurch for 37 years (as well as workplace services for 22 years), the Adult Reading Assistance Scheme ("ARAS") began in 1977 as a pilot scheme initiated by the Canterbury WEA (Workers Educational Association).

ARAS is a not-for-profit organisation which provides adult literacy and numeracy assistance on a one-to-one and/or small group basis at no direct cost to the student.   ARAS trains a pool of volunteer tutors through its parent body, Literacy Aotearoa, to work with adult students to assist them to improve their literacy and numeracy skills. 

ARAS runs various groups, as well as one-on-one tutoring, which all have a different focus, for example Learner Licence Course which helps students come to grips with reading the theory test/booklets for their driving licence and the Work Readiness Course which is designed to help students with job skills including preparing a CV, writing a covering letter and filling in forms.

The ARAS mission is "to assist self-motivated adults with reading, writing, numeracy and other essential learning in order to employwer them to achieve independents, attain their goals and fulfill their potential."

ARAS are always in need of volunteers and/or donations – to find out more about this very worthy cause please visit their website.

Some more information about United Way:

United Way have been improving lives and strengthening communities around the world for more than 125 years and enjoys the support of 70,000 companies.  Cavell Leitch is one of those companies in New Zealand and has enjoyed a partnership with United Way for approximately 14 years.  Our staff not only donate through payroll, but also donate time.  Some of our partners assist in choosing the charities to support and one of our staff member is the Canterbury Regional Co-ordinator.  We are committed to helping United Way create lasting change in our community.

United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.  The Charity's mission is to improve lives by mobilising the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. 

For those that aren't aware of United Way's work, they collect donations and then give grants to charities who apply.  Some of these charities are too small to attract much attention for donations or are not "popular" charities, but still do fantastic work in our communities.

For more information on United Way please click here.