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

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has accelerated educational inequality at an alarming rate and continues to be a growing problem, with four in every ten children in London living in households in poverty. In order to continue fighting this inequality, we have adapted our home-reading service, and have launched our Online Reading Corner, a new online reading service for children and families in their home. This new service, forms part of our new blended offer, enabling us to support those families who need us most and reach even more children going forward.

At the same time, we are working towards seeing families in person again in September. This means that we’ll run two different types of reading sessions alongside each other and are now recruiting for two different volunteering roles – Home Reading Volunteer and Online Reading Volunteer.

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

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 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.

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 or 3.45 pm and 6.30pm, depending on the location.

All of our projects adhere to Government guidelines and we review these on a regular basis. As such home reading sessions will be taking place on the doorstep (where appropriate) or as a book swap with the family if reading is not possible that week.

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.

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.