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Reading way to success.

It's an incredible statistic but an estimated 400,000 adults in the North East cannot read or write.

This is a desperate problem for the individuals themselves but this issue also has a significant impact on the region's economy and beyond.

Poor basic skills cost the nation's taxpayers some pounds 10bn a year in lost revenue and hinders profits in our major industries by a further pounds 4.8bn.

This is an issue that affects us all and we ignore it at out peril.

There are a number of adult education initiatives up and running in the region, but it is up to the individual to take them up to improve their lives.

But such is the stigma attached to being unable to read or write that these people also need the encouragement of family and friends to take that first step.

The services are out there to help those with basic skill shortages ( it is up to all of us to ensure they are used by the members of our community most in need.

Real chivalry

FORGET knights in shining armour coming to the aid of damsels in distress ( we've got a knight in a shiny bus. Our modern Sir Galahad is bus driver Michael Harrison who rescued teenage pals Laura Maughan and Nadia Gartland from the clutches of a stranger and ensured they got home safely. Michael went beyond the call of duty to give the girls a free bus trip home right to their doorstep and deserves to be recognised for his honourable actions. The age of chivalry is not dead.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 3, 2004
Words:264
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