#NeverMoreNeeded – recruiting volunteers now

1st May 2020

#NeverMoreNeeded – recruiting volunteers now.  Doorstep Library volunteers bring more than just books into the homes of families. They bring a listening ear and a sense of enthusiasm that you simply couldn’t find anywhere else.  With schools currently closed and families on lockdown, access to books and the magic escape of reading is more important than ever.  We know that vulnerable families are the most affected during these difficult times and that’s why it’s never been more important for Doorstep Library to reach out to those children and families who most need our support. We are indeed #NeverMoreNeeded and that’s why we are continuing with recruiting volunteers now and working hard, to ensure we can still bring the gift of reading and storytime to all our families.

Connect with your local community

We are still recruiting volunteers and working to get them trained and ready to hit the ground with backpacks filled with books and a desire to see excited and smiling faces as soon as we can resume our projects.  In the meantime, many of our volunteers are recording stories online which we are sharing with our families.  Once the lockdown has lifted, children will need that face-to-face support more than ever – so there has never been a better way to feel connected by volunteering to support your local community – now and in the future.

Westminster volunteer Brian’s story

#NeverMoreNeeded – recruiting volunteers nowWestminster volunteer Brian tells us how volunteering for Doorstep Library has helped him feel more connected to the community and the difference he’s made to the families he visits.

“I am 68 years old, and spent most of my working life as a newsagent, and then as a pest control technician. My wife and I first became aware of Doorstep Library through the Chiswick Book Festival and we agreed that we would like to volunteer once we had retired from full-time work. We both retired in 2016, and after holidays to visit children living abroad, we completed our training and joined Doorstep Library projects in 2017. I am still volunteering each week, visiting children and families in the Queens Park area.

I have always believed that learning to read was one of the most important skills to acquire as early as possible, along with learning to tie your own shoes! My Mum was an avid reader and she passed that love of books on to me, encouraging me to use our local library, which although only small, provided my first experience of independence, being allowed to go there on my own from the age of eight or nine. I quickly appreciated the freedom of being able to entertain and amuse myself just by simply reading a book.

It was this feeling, encouraged by my mum, and subsequently passed on to my children and grandchildren that made me so keen to volunteer for Doorstep Library.   Here was an opportunity to pass on this love of reading to another generation.

Many of the families I regularly visit have been in the UK for some years and there are no language barriers restricting our mutual understanding. However, when I’ve acted as a ‘’ stand-in’’ volunteer on other projects, more recent arrivals to the UK have made me realise that in some cases as the children improve their spoken and written English, they in turn help to pass this on to their parents. An excellent example of Doorstep Library providing a real benefit to more than one generation. Volunteering with Doorstep Library has also provided an opportunity to meet people originating from different parts of the world, to discover their stories and customs, and to appreciate that we’re never too old to learn.

“I have also found that volunteering with Doorstep Library has not simply been a question of what I can do for the children and families, but also what they have done for me.”

#NeverMoreNeeded – recruiting volunteers nowMy fond memories of reading with my children, and then my grandchildren, are very vivid, but becoming ever more distant. I have been very grateful to rediscover this pleasure with today’s children, and find so little has changed- to see their excited faces as stories unfold, share and if necessary, explain humour and clever wordplay, and to recognise the mutual pleasure of improving their knowledge, understanding and awareness of their environment. I have come to realise that in many cases our visits also provide a valued connection for, and with, the parents.

I am so pleased to be a volunteer for Doorstep Library and would enthusiastically recommend it to other volunteers. It has helped me to feel in contact with younger generations, and rather than accentuating any differences, has confirmed how much we share.”

Brian Smith, Westminster volunteer, Doorstep Library

Join our volunteering team now

Volunteering to support children with their reading has never been more important and our volunteers are #NeverMoreNeeded and we are still recruiting volunteers now. To find out more about volunteering with Doorstep Library please visit:  https://doorsteplibrary.org.uk/volunteer/ or to join one of our online Information Sessions please contact us at volunteer@doorsteplibrary.org.uk

If you would like to make a donation to help us continue to reach children and families during this difficult period please visit: https://www.nowdonate.com/checkout/doorstep-library-network