A woman who is learning to read at 87 after hiding her illiteracy all her life has been sent a free KINDLE by retail giant Amazon.
Retired factory worker Ursula Shepherd left school at 15 unable to read or write after being branded a ‘dunce’ by classmates.
Since then, she’s relied on others to write her cheques, handle utility bills and fill in forms and has never voted, read a newspaper or borrowed a library book.
Last Autumn – after nine decades of hiding her illiteracy – she decided that enough was enough and started attending reading lessons.
Her teachers say she’s come on in “leaps and bounds” and has been spending her free time flicking through love stories and other paperbacks.
The not-so-tech-savvy pensioner is now also trying to master the art of using a computer after being gifted a Kindle reading device by Amazon.
Dawn Ellis, of the Shared Lives scheme, which set up Ursula’s residential care and supports vulnerable adults, said: “Ursula absolutely loved it.
“At first she asked what it was and then called it a computer because that’s what it is to her – it’s her computer to learn to read.
“She said, ‘Oh it’s my computer.’ She was fascinated that she could turn the pages with a touch and make the font bigger.
“She has come on in leaps and bounds with her reading. She is going every week and taking her first exam towards the end of this year.
“She understands exactly what it is for and she can’t wait to learn how to use it and start downloading e-books. There’s no stopping her now.”