New campaign encourages Irish adults to improve their reading, writing and maths skills

21 Sep 2009

A major new campaign, sponsored by An Post that encourages adults to ‘take the first step’ to improve their reading, writing and maths skills was launched today, Monday 21 September in the GPO.Developed in association with the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), the literacy awareness drive will see An Post staff delivering information leaflets to over 65,000 homes across the country.The direct mailing campaign follows hot on the heels of An Post’s hugely successful TV and radio advertising campaign, which resulted in over 10,000 people contacting NALA for help with reading and writing. The mailing marks the beginning of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week 2009 from 21 to 25 September.

Speaking at the GPO today, An Post Chief Executive, Donal Connell said “Since 2007, An Post has supported awareness of adult literacy in Ireland. We now look to our own business as an effective way of delivering the literacy message right to the front door of homes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Meath and Longford.”

Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency, said “We welcome An Post’s continued commitment to the issue of literacy in Ireland. In a time when many people are being made redundant or are vulnerable in their jobs, adult literacy services have a unique part to play in assisting people develop their literacy and numeracy. We have no doubt that this direct mailing campaign will encourage people we could not reach before to contact local VEC adult literacy services.”

The Take the first step information leaflets contain course options and contact details for local VEC adult literacy services. There are courses from ‘complete beginners’ to ‘improvers’ in reading, writing, spelling, maths and computers.

Small group or one-to-one tuition is available in a friendly and relaxed environment. It is completely free and confidential. For more information, freephone NALA on 1800 20 20 65.


For further information contact:
Clare McNally, National Adult Literacy Agency, 01 8509109 / 087 6486292
Anna McHugh, An Post, (01) 705 8832 / 086 2350697

Background Information:

10,000 adults call NALA freephone asking for help

Taking the first steps on any difficult journey requires courage and commitment – and for those who have difficulties reading or writing, the stigma attached can prove daunting and discouraging. Since An Post developed and sponsored a national TV and radio advertising campaign encouraging adults to improve their literacy, NALA has recorded over 10,000 calls to its freephone support line. The calls are mainly from adults who have seen the An Post advertisements and want to find out how they can improve their reading, writing or numeracy skills. NALA has also received calls from friends and family members who are ringing on behalf of an adult who has literacy difficulties and from people who want to volunteer as literacy tutors.

The National Adult Literacy Agency:
The National Adult Literacy Agency is an independent membership organisation, concerned with developing policy, advocacy, research and offering advisory services in adult literacy work in Ireland. NALA was established in 1980 and has campaigned since then for the recognition of, and responses to, the adult literacy issue in Ireland.

The VEC Adult Literacy Service is the largest provider of adult literacy tuition in Ireland. Currently there are an estimated 50,000 adults attending 130 VEC Adult Literacy Services in Ireland.

An Post:
An Post is a major commercial organisation providing a wide range of services encompassing postal, communications, financial and retail facilities. It is one of Ireland’s largest companies directly employing over 9,500 people across the state. An Post handles more than three million items of mail each day, using a road fleet of 3,000 vehicles to ensure daily mail deliveries to 1.6 million business and residential addresses. The company also operates an unrivalled national network of 1,300 post offices.