How to Volunteer

Volunteer knocking on door with green and yellow stools in hand

“Last week, Mom told us: ‘You know what he told me this week? ‘Tomorrow is the magic moment!’ And I asked him, ‘what do you mean by the magic moment?’ ‘The moment when the book people come to visit us!’” Karen & Steph

How can you get involved?

Become a Reading Volunteer

Educational inequality has accelerated at an alarming rate, and the pandemic has widened the gap even further, with four in every ten children in London living in households in poverty.

In order to continue fighting this inequality, we have now adapted our home-reading service, by launching our Online Reading Corner, a new online reading service for children and families in their homes. This new service forms part of our new blended offer, enabling us to support those families who need us most across London and beyond.  

This means that we are running two different types of reading sessions alongside each other and are now recruiting for two different volunteering roles – Home Reading Volunteer, where visits happen in the home in person, and Online Reading Volunteer, where visits happen in the home in a virtual setting. 

There are several ways you can get involved as a Reading Volunteer with Doorstep Library.

Home Reading Volunteer

As a regular Home Reading Volunteer, you’ll visit the same set of families in one London location every week. You will read and engage with the families and bring books for children to read at home in between sessions. Our home reading sessions run during school term time on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 4.30 pm and 7.00 pm.

Over the past two years, we have supported families on their doorstep. We are delighted to announce that we are now offering indoor visits again. Families and volunteers are able to choose whether they would like to take part in either visiting inside the home or on the doorstep. We know that sitting down and sharing stories together has the greatest impact and our long term plan is for all our home reading volunteers to return to indoor visits when invited in by families.

Online Reading Volunteer

As a regular Online Reading Volunteer, you will visit the same three families online once a week, connecting via Zoom from your own home. You will read stories with children aged 0 – 11, finding the most appropriate books from our online library for every child you visit and building a long-standing relationship with the whole family. Our online reading sessions run during school term time on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm.

Stand-in Home Reading Volunteer

As a stand-in Home Reading Volunteer, you will fill in for our regular Home Reading Volunteers when they are away. Stand-in readers only cover reading sessions as and when they’re available and so don’t need to make a weekly commitment. They also have the chance to work with different volunteers and meet different families.

Stand-in Online Reading Volunteer

As a stand-in Online Reading Volunteer, you will fill in for our regular Online Reading Volunteers when they are away. Stand-in readers only cover reading sessions as and when they’re available and so don’t need to make a weekly commitment. They also have the chance to work with different volunteers and meet different families.

Where are you based?

We currently run projects in Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, Lambeth and Camden. Visit ‘Where we work’ for a full list of timings and more information about our projects.

To find out more about becoming a Home Reading or Online Reading Volunteer, book an Information Session here.