If you’ve ever wondered who the faces behind Doorstep Library’s volunteer team are, wonder no more. Meet Olivia and Maya – our incredible Volunteer Engagement Team. By signing up to become a reading volunteer, you’ll be in regular contact with the two of them as you undergo training and get set up for your sessions. Take a look at what Olivia and Maya said when we asked them some questions…
Maya: I’m Maya, the Volunteer Coordinator at Doorstep Library and regular volunteer for one of our Westminster projects! I started volunteering in 2021 and joined the team as Volunteer Coordinator last year.
Olivia: Hi everyone! My name is Olivia and I’m the Volunteer Engagement Manager at Doorstep Library. I am responsible for all things volunteering! I set the strategic direction for our volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention. I ensure that all volunteers have the best possible journey with us, and that volunteers are supported, feel valued, are developing and most importantly are having fun whilst volunteering at Doorstep Library!
Why Do You Believe Children’s Literacy Is So Important?
Maya: I believe reading is a superpower that lets children explore the world around them in ways you can only experience through imagination. Children’s literacy is vital for helping children to express themselves and shape their own identities.
Reading allows children freedom to expand their interests and imagination which has a huge impact on self-esteem and confidence for children of all ages. We see this every week in the children we read with, which is so special to be part of! I’m very passionate about diversity in children’s literacy and am always impressed by the book selection we have for families. There is something for every child to feel seen and celebrated.
Olivia: It really impacts me when I think about the thousands of children who don’t have access to books and aren’t able to engage with reading because it’s the bread and butter of being able to access so many opportunities in life.
Children’s literacy is so important as without this fundamental skill it can really impact a child’s confidence and self-esteem and their ability to take part in the national curriculum which can then impact the rest of their lives, unless something is done to change this! This is where Doorstep Library comes in as our reading programmes can really make a difference where children not only learn the skills to engage with reading independently, but will start to love reading over time!
What Is Your Favourite Part Of Your Job?
Maya: Reading with the families every week and meeting volunteers on projects! It’s uplifting to meet so many inspiring people. Volunteers are from all walks of life and experiences, connected by the philosophy that reading should be accessible and enjoyed by every child. It’s an incredible community and I love getting to know all the volunteers.
Olivia: There are so many parts of my job that I love. I love seeing volunteer applications come through and supporting volunteers throughout their onboarding journey to ensure volunteers have all the tools that they need to become the best possible volunteers as well as ensuring they are able to start their journey quickly.
As Maya said, I love supporting and meeting volunteers as there are so many inspirational volunteers out there and therefore this really fuels my passion and desire to want to manage and engage volunteers effectively. Volunteering opens so many doors and opportunities for so many people, including myself, and I feel it’s a part of my responsibility to really champion this and to bring people together through volunteering.
What Was Your Favourite Children’s Book Growing Up?
Maya: My favourite children’s books growing up were any collections of myths and legends from around the world. I loved the magic of being transported to different times and places without even leaving the room!
Olivia: Also being a red head and also being labelled as the “naughty child” whilst growing up, my favourite books as a child was the “My Naughty Little Sister” series by Dorothy Edwards. There are so many hilarious stories that show how mischievous yet innocent the naughty little sister was which I related to well. The illustrations in these books also were beautiful which really helped my engagement with the stories despite that I found reading very challenging as a child.