Volunteer to read with children this New Year

1st January 2023

Volunteer to read with children this New Year

Volunteer to read with children this New Year. As the new year begins, you have perhaps made a resolution to give back to your community. Or perhaps you thought you would like to make a difference in someone else’s life. Whatever your motivation is, why not make your resolution a reality by becoming a Reading Volunteer with Doorstep Library and bringing the magic of books and reading to children who need our support.

After multiple school closures during COVID, the cost of living crisis which is making books less affordable and with 1 in 5 children (aged 5 – 8) in England not owning a single book of their own (*1), we are aware that there has never been a greater need for our services.  We need people to come together to help those children who are being left behind, ensuring both a better future for them, and for the communities they live in.

So, if you love books and reading and want to share your passion with others, then volunteering with Doorstep Library could be the perfect step for you! Join our team of amazing volunteers who visit children and families in disadvantaged areas of London (either in person or online) to share the magic and benefits of reading.

Create magical moments

Being a Doorstep Library volunteer doesn’t just mean you are bringing books into someone’s life. You are also bringing knowledge of distant planets and faraway galaxies. You are inviting wizards, 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.

Volunteer to read with children this New YearWith 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.

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.

We know that our volunteers are making an impact and 95% of parents/carers say that Doorstep Library has helped their children to read better. (Doorstep Library Summer Survey 2022)

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 both their community and the families they visit.

Our volunteers are there to lend a listening ear, to offer support and have a friendly chat with parents and carers.  Having reached out and established a trusted link, you are then able to help families form bonds with the wider community through our signposting of additional local services. In return you are able to watch the children develop and grow in confidence.  You will also have the opportunity to meet and spend time with a broad and diverse range of families, as well as other volunteers.

98% of our volunteers now feel more connected to their community.  (Doorstep Library Impact Report 2020)

Empower parents

As a Doorstep Library volunteer, you will also help to empower and equip parents and carers with the skills they need to encourage their children to love reading for pleasure in the home.  We encourage parents to join the reading sessions each week and to continue to share books and stories with their children after we’re gone because we know that sharing stories together improves child-parent bonds, which in turn enriches family life and creates enhanced life opportunities.

87% of parents/carers said Doorstep Library has encouraged them to spend more time reading with their children (Doorstep Library Summer Survey 2022)

Find that feel-good factor – “work can’t give you everything”

We all know that work can’t give us everything.  As a Doorstep Library volunteer you will be doing something that you truly love, something important and something that is both appreciated and valued by members of your community.  It will be no surprise to hear then, that volunteering is also often very beneficial to your mental health.

In the NCVO’s national volunteering survey – Time Well Spent – it stated that (*3):

  • 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

Take the first step

There is no better time to start volunteering than this New Year. Register your interest on our Volunteering page and we will be in touch with further information and an application form. Make the most of your skills and interests by joining our volunteer team today – your New Year’s Resolution could change a child’s story for good.

We can’t wait to hear from you!



(*1) – National Literacy Trust, 2022 – 5 to 8-year-old children’s reading in 2022

(*2) – Doorstep Library – 2021 – 2022 Impact Results

(*3) – NCVO – Time Well Spent – A National Survey on the Volunteering Experience