Jasmine’s Story

13th February 2023

I was also interested in the prospect of being able to meet families and read with their children in their homes or having them read to me. As I had a bit of free time during the week, I was able to fit the home reading sessions in on a day which was suitable to me whilst still studying.

Why did I want to volunteer with Doorstep Library?

I am currently studying Education Studies full-time at the University of West London. I wanted to volunteer with Doorstep Library as I knew it would be a different and rewarding experience; away from the school setting where children can be more comfortable and themselves. I had my own relationship with books through my personal experience with reading. Whilst in secondary school I also did a bit of reading with Key Stage 1 children during my work placement, so the interest has always been there. I was also interested in the prospect of being able to meet families and read with their children in their homes or having them read to me. As I had a bit of free time during the week, I was able to fit the home reading sessions in on a day which was suitable to me whilst still studying.

Did I have any reservations or challenges to overcome before I started volunteering?

Yes, my confidence. I’m a very anxious person but through the support and encouragement of my Team Leaders and my fellow volunteers I always felt very comfortable and able to share any concerns that I had. I quickly became comfortable with the families and the children I visited, whenever I felt myself struggle to read out loud I just took my time. My Team Leader and volunteer partner encouraged and reassured me whenever I felt as though it was becoming a challenge. Thanks to their constant support and encouragement, I have been able to develop my communication, reading, listening and my time management skills as well boost my self-esteem.

Why do I love volunteering with Doorstep Library?

Volunteering with Doorstep Library has been extremely rewarding and educational. Being able to pick out and read books with the children and seeing how happy the right book makes them. I really enjoy making the children happy and being able to see them engaged with reading. I have learned a lot about children’s books and have had the opportunity to meet some incredible families.

What has been my favourite moment?

I have been working with one particular child for many months now and it has sometimes been a bit challenging selecting the right books for him. But on one particular week, we read “Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian” and it was incredible to see how engaged he was once he realised that he could be like the Muslim boy in the story. It was so nice to see!

What advice would I give others?

Don’t worry if you struggle with reading yourself because it’s really fun! Every child you visit has their own personality (some very unique and funny personalities) and it’s an absolute pleasure getting to know all of the families every week. It can seem like a scary experience especially when you are meeting a family for the first time but they are always so welcoming.

You will have so much fun, it will be fantastic experience that you will always remember.