Marc Simpson is a Case Worker and PCS (Public and Commercial Services) member at CMG Tyneview Park who has rediscovered his love of reading thanks to the union's links with Quick Reads which are being promoted across the union's northern region.
ULRs (Union Learning Reps) have been very active in promoting Quick Reads in workplaces, and many have bookshelves in staff rooms, canteens and learning centres that have a selection of Quick Reads on hand in case anyone fancies picking up a copy.
Clare Hownam, Northern Regional Learning Organiser with PCS, says: "The Quick Reads are available to pick up at the PCS Regional Office in Newcastle, all that I ask is that they are passed on once read."
PCS ULRs offer the books at learning events and activities in their branches, as well as at events during the annual Learning at Work week.
Clare adds: "Some specifically have reading events where learners take a book and leave their details so the ULRs can get back in contact with them and invite them to their next reading club session where they can exchange books, talk about their books and once a month give a short feedback and discussion on the book they have read."
Marc picked up a Quick Read one day for personal pleasure, and has been hooked since.
Marc said: "I read Quick Reads during lunch breaks and at home to broaden knowledge and understanding. One thing I particularly like about them is their accessibility and range of content."
Marc enjoys factual books the most and this increased interest in books has helped him improve his reading - which has had benefits at work, as he explains. "Reading Quick Reads has helped improve my wider reading and at work this has meant that I am able to more quickly and effectively understand detailed documents relating to procedural guidance and policy changes."
This isn't Marc's first experience with the support that union learning can offer to develop skills.
Marc says: "I was previously supported through the PCS Union Learning Fund project to enrol on an English language course at Sunderland College. This helped increase awareness of correct grammar and using words in correct context and sharpen existing 'rusty' skills and knowledge."
Clare adds: "Quick Reads are very popular with ULRs as it's a tool to use to strike up a conversation with a potential member. Especially as there is no charge, it can lead the conversation onto other learning opportunities available."
Clare is really pleased that Marc has benefited so much from Quick Reads, and is looking forward to getting copies of the new batch of titles so her team of ULRs can share with members across the North East.
Read more Quick Reads case studies and find out more about the 2020 books
Find more information on the links between Quick Reads and union learning on the Unionlearn website