The team at Bridport Literary Festival is supporting two local charities this year with donations totalling £1,000.

Bridport Refugee Support Campaign and local branch of Read Easy have each been given £500.

Festival director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart said: ‘Both of these organisations are doing terrific work in the Bridport area. All of us at BridLit are delighted to be supporting them.’

Bridport Refugee Support Campaign began when a group of residents got together in February 2020 to help a refugee family settle in Bridport and rebuild their lives. 

Read Easy teaches adults to read. It is now a national charity but was founded in Dorset 12 years ago. 

Margie Barbour from the Bridport Refugee Support Campaign said: ‘Our aim was to bring a family here under the Home Office Community Sponsorship Scheme, a safe and legal route to resettlement for refugees escaping from countries affected by war, persecution or natural disaster. 

‘We used this scheme which has been shown to be the most effective way of helping refugee families become valued members of their new community. 

‘A family from the Sudan arrived in February 2022 and have settled well into Bridport life and are very happy here. 

‘We have a team of volunteers who have joined the trustees to provide support. 

‘We are involved in teaching English to the parents of the family, assisting the children with their schoolwork, taking the family out on trips, providing transport to medical appointments, opticians and dentists and helping the family find voluntary work here to prepare them for paid employment. 

‘The two girls have joined local groups to follow their interests of dance and sport. The committee are hoping to bring another family here in the future.’

Ali Turnock, fundraiser for Bridport ReadEasy, said: ‘We teach adults to read using phonics and by providing each of them with their own fully trained coach.

‘We use tried and tested texts and back up each reading pair with our extensive resources – games and stories at each level to keep things interesting. 

‘We award our readers with a certificate at each significant goal until we eventually celebrate their graduation. 

‘The pairs meet in private at approved safe venues and our service is completely confidntial. Our co-ordinator drops in on the pairs regularly to offer advice and encouragement and we have a literacy adviser we can call on when necessary.

‘We are self-funding and raise money locally and are deeply grateful to BridLit for their generous donations and support. Imagine a life where you couldn’t enjoy reading a wonderful book and look forward to meeting the author at BridLit.’

  • Bridport Literary Festival takes place in venues around the town from Sunday 6 November to Saturday 12 November. For details, please visit or pick up a brochure from Bridport Tourist Information Centre (01308 424901), where you can also buy tickets.