Eighty Seven year old Exmouth resident learns to read!


Shared Lives South West’s Ursula Shepherd is proof that it’s never too late in life to learn.

Ursula, who lives with Shared Lives carer Lesley Waller in Exmouth, has been having lessons to learn to read.

The 87 year old being taught by a teacher from Learn Devon at the Kennaway Centre near to where she lives… and she’s loving every minute of it.

She says that because she was likely to become a domestic servant in the 1930s her teachers would not educate her.

“Ursula always said that she wanted to learn and she’s pleased she can now be used as a role model. She wants to encourage others to do the same,” said Lesley.

“Ursula has learning difficulties so it makes it even more difficult for her to read, we are very proud of her. She’s such a fun lady and so full of life. She loves nothing better than to dance or sit and knit and crochet.”

Armed with a big folder of words to learn before her next reading lesson, she shows off just how far she’s come, reading out various words with confidence.

“It’s lovely I’m ever so pleased I’m learning to read. I’m enjoying every minute of it,” she said.

Lesley opened up her home to Ursula a year ago and also has Marjorie and Martin, who also use Shared Lives services, living with her.

“I love the fact that they live with me and have fun and live the way they want to,” said Lesley.

“Every day is a bit of a giggle.”

Watch here!

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