A pensioner has proven it’s never to late to learn a new life skill by learning how to read at the age of 87.
Octogenarian Ursula Shepherd appeared on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ to read a section from a book live on air.
She said being able to read for the first time is “lovely” and she hopes to inspire others who find reading and writing difficult.
“I hope I can inspire other people to read,” she said.
Shepherd explained that she hid her reading difficulties from her friends and teachers at school by copying the other children around her.
“When I went to school, they had books but I was sat at the back with another person,” she said.
“I had to do the same as she did, because she was reading, but I couldn’t read anything out of a book. I turned the pages over at the same time as her.”
She added that some teachers tried to help her, but she kept getting muddled between the letter ‘b’ and ‘d’.
Shepherd appeared on the show with her carer Lesley Waller, who explained that she had been diagnosed with learning difficulties.
With Waller’s help, Shepherd’s reading has slowly but surely improved and she was able to read a section from her book on the show.
Needless to say it was an emotional moment for everyone involved, including viewers at home.
Shepherd said it was difficult going through life unable to read, but now she’s looking forward to improving her fluency so she can read her knitting patterns.
She also plans to learn how to write, so she can send letters to her brother-in-law, John.
At the end of the segment, presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford presented her with a writing set, which left Shepherd grinning from ear to ear.
She’s certainly left us smiling, too.
‘This Morning’ airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.