"It's so rewarding to see excited faces waiting by the door for our call - carrying books to return as they anxiously probe in our rucksacks for more treasure. Opening a book together is priceless."

Alex, volunteer in Fulham for 4 years

Doorstep Library volunteers visit the same 5 families every week with backpacks full of books and two little stools to share their love of reading.

Our volunteers don’t just read stories though; they do the silly voices, handpick the books, and give special recommendations. By making it fun first, we get to watch children transform into budding readers and we love parents to get stuck into the sessions too.

Sometimes though, we’re just there to give a bit of extra support, whether we’re passing on information about a local family activity, lending a listening ear, or even just being a friendly face. Then, before we go, we leave behind a selection of books for each child to borrow for the week.

If this sounds like the role for you, here are the basics:

Where do we work?

We currently run projects in Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and Lambeth.

In Hammersmith and Fulham, Monday and Tuesday projects start at 3.45 pm and finish at 6.30 pm. Thursday projects start at 4.30 pm and finish at 7.00 pm.

In Westminster and Lambeth, we start at 4.30 pm and finish at 7.00 pm.

Doorstep Library projects run on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

You can view our full list of locations here to find the project that’s right for you.

Book an info session

How can you get involved?

There are three different ways you can get involved as a Reading Volunteer with us:

Online Reading Volunteer:

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has accelerated educational inequality at an alarming rate and continues to be a growing problem. As a result, we’ve adapted or home-reading service and have now launched our Online Reading Corner with a brand-new volunteering role. As an Online Reading Volunteer, you will visit the same three families virtually every week through our online reading sessions. You will read stories, with children aged 0 – 11 finding the most appropriate books for every child you visit and building a long-standing relationship with the whole family.

Regular Home Reading Volunteer:

*Please note we are currently not recruiting for this role due to Government advice on Covid-19.*

As a regular reader with us, you’ll have the chance to visit the same five families each week. So the families get to know the same volunteers, we ask our regular readers to be available on a set day every week during term time only. We also ask that our volunteers make a commitment of at least 9 months so that we can slowly build up relationships with the families we visit over time.

Stand In- Reading Volunteer

Our projects wouldn’t run on a weekly basis without the support of our invaluable stand-in volunteers, who fill in for our regular readers when they’re away. Stand in volunteers 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 lots of different families whether in-person or virtually.

There are so many benefits to volunteering with Doorstep Library, we could write a book full of them! You can check out some of them here.

  • What’s the next step?

    Hear more about all of these roles, and find out more about the charity, by coming along to one of our monthly Information Sessions.

    You’ll meet a member of the Doorstep Library team and one of our volunteers here at our office in Victoria.

    Book an info session


Give what you can as a one-off or monthly donation to keep children reading in lockdown.

In the last lockdown, children turned to reading to take them on adventures beyond their homes. For the 1 in 8 children who have no books at home Doorstep Library was there to provide online story sessions, send books and offer support to parents.

We want to keep children reading as they face further schools closure. Not all children have the technology, space or support to continue learning independently. Reading for pleasure is proven to improve children’s wellbeing and have long-lasting impact on their educational attainment.

Donate here