A new year, a new opportunity to help others. As 2022 begins, perhaps you’ve made a resolution to do ‘something’ for the area where you live or work. Or simply to do ‘something’ to help others. Why not make that ‘something’ a reality by volunteering as a reader for Doorstep Library and sharing the magic and joy of books with children aged 0-11?
After all the disruption caused by Covid, we are more aware than ever of the need for communities to come together and to make the most of our time, talents and interests.
So, if you have a love of good stories and books and are looking for a way to share this with others, then volunteering for Doorstep Library could be for you!
You could join our team of amazing volunteers who visit homes (in person and online) and read with children in some of London’s most under-resourced areas.
A new year – to create magical moments
Being a Doorstep Library volunteer doesn’t just mean you are bringing books into someone’s life. You are actually bringing knowledge of distant planets and faraway galaxies. You are inviting wizards and witches and tigers to tea, and you are creating moments of bonding between children and their parents as they share a story or two before bedtime. As a Doorstep Library volunteer, you are there to show the fun that can be had from reading. You won’t have to give tests or assess progress. It’s all about the enjoyment of seeing where words will take the children you visit.
to make connections
Whatever your motivation for volunteering, our volunteers all say that one of the main reasons they are so committed to the work they do, is because of the relationships they build with the families they visit. With the range of families you see weekly, no two visits are ever the same. In one visit you can be playing peek-a-boo and reading touch-and-feel books with a six-month-old. Whereas in another visit, you are utilising your acting skills and doing your best scary dinosaur voice for a toddler.
to empower parents
As a Doorstep Library volunteer, you empower and equip parents with the skills they need to encourage their children to love reading for pleasure in the home. You also help them to feel less isolated by connecting them to the wider community. This is done through signposting to local events, fairs, or community centres. And we know that our volunteers are making an impact as 98% of parents rate our reading sessions as ‘Excellent’. (*2)
to find that feel-good factor – “work can’t give you everything”
As a volunteer for Doorstep Library you will be doing something that you love, something that is important and something that is appreciated by members of your community. It will be no surprise to hear, then, that volunteering is often very beneficial for our mental health.
In the NCVO’s national volunteering survey – Time Well Spent – it stated that (*1):
- 90% of volunteers feel they make a difference through their volunteering.
- 89% of recent volunteers meet new people through their volunteering.
- 68% of recent volunteers agree their volunteering helps them feel less isolated.
- 83% of volunteers say they feel well supported in the organisation they volunteer for.
“Work can’t give you everything. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling frustrated by being stuck to a desk all day and experiencing the world through the prism of my inbox. I see volunteering as both an escape and a balance from my work. Once a week I pry myself away from the ever-shifting, ever-stressing world of work and do something that feels smaller, simpler and unequivocally good.” – Dylan, Doorstep Library Volunteer
“I truly believe in the work that Doorstep Library are doing and the value it brings into the homes that we visit. On the visits that I went on, I could see the great impact that Doorstep Library have in inspiring a love of reading and confidence within children!” – Dijiana, Doorstep Library Volunteer
to take that first step
Sign up to one of our online Information Sessions to find out everything you need to know about volunteering with us. You will have a chance to meet a member of staff as well as a member of our volunteering team. Don’t forget that we offer some really engaging training, as well as full ongoing support for all our volunteers.
There is no better time to start volunteering and make the most of your talents and interests.
Help us to spread the magic of Doorstep Library visits to even more families across disadvantaged areas of London. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities visit our Volunteer page.
We can’t wait to hear from you!