Claire Cakebread works at for the Yorkshire Building Society at the company's Lynch Wood offices in Peterborough as a Customer Treatment Consultant with the Vulnerable Customer Support Team.
Last year Learn with Aegis rep Claire starting to promote reading and Quick Reads in her workplace - since then, as she describes below, things have come on in leaps and bounds.
Starting a conversation about learning
Quick Reads are a great tool to start a conversation about union learning, and because the range is so wide there is a book for everyone. They also look great out on a table together as they are really colourful and eye catching.
If someone says they don't read I always suggest they look for a book for a friend or relative. If they say they don't have time, I might say these books are perfect as they're short and if summer is coming, I suggest they take one on holiday! It's helpful to have read a few yourself so you can honestly say which you found good and also to know what each of the books are about. I may ask what genre they enjoy, then make some suggestions from the range.
h2. Catching potential readers at the right time
Ways to give the books away that I've tried include setting the books up on spare desks in our Contact Centre and emailing to invite colleagues to come and choose a book or two.
I've also set up the books in the reception area of the building to catch people as they come into work, letting them know the books will be here until after lunch and that they can help themselves. I've also boxed books up and given them to managers to give out in team meetings.
Whenever I set up the books, I also promote the free courses available, so I also have plenty of Unionlearn leaflets and information with me. If I'm at the table I will either hand these to the person with each book or if they pick the book up, I just say, "I'll let you have some leaflets too. They tell you about all the great Unionlearn courses available. The courses are free and open to everyone, not just Union members."
I also say to them that if they'd like any more information about learning they should email me or pop to my desk for a chat. It's a really soft promotion and I don't really push the Union directly, but will answer questions if asked.
Read about Tazim Ladhu, a Learn with Unite Regional Learning Organiser, who has been making use of Quick Reads to help support learners at a reading club in Bristol
Read more about our new Quick Reads for 2020, publishing on 20 February