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What’s involved?

Volunteering with us is very rewarding.  You’ll see the children’s reading gradually improve over time and you’ll help them learn to love books.  If this sounds like a role you would enjoy, please read on.

In order to become a reading helper we need you to:

1. Be able to spare three hours per week

You must be able to visit a local school twice a week for 90 minutes per visit during term time.  This usually means spending two mornings or two afternoons in a local school each week.

2. Commit for at least a year

You will work with the same 3 children for a year, building up a rapport with them by creating a safe and fun learning environment.  Our experience has shown us that only by providing this stability will we see the children make progress.  Of course we’d love you to stay for longer than a year and if you can, you will be able to help even more children become literate for life.

3. Have been resident in the UK for at least two years

Before we can place you in a school, we have to conduct background checks (see point 6 below) and you will need to have been resident in the UK for at least two years for us to do this.

4. Be fluent in English and a competent reader

5. Believe in the importance of literacy

We provide you with full training to prepare you for your role as a VRH reading helper before we place you at a school, so we don’t ask for any formal qualifications.  However, we do look for people who have a passion for reading themselves so they can share this enthusiasm with the children.

6. Be happy for us to undertake an enhanced CRB check & be able to supply two references

In order to work one-to-one with children in a school, we have to apply for an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check for you.  This will be processed at your VRH interview.  We also need to take up two references before we can place you at a school.  You will be asked to provide details of these on the application form.

If you can fulfil all six points above, we can promise you a rewarding volunteering experience with full support and training.

Who are our reading helpers?

Our reading helpers come from all walks of life. They volunteer for many different reasons but two things unite them: a love of reading and the dedication to inspire the next generation of readers.

At VRH we believe that every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential.  Literacy is a fundamental part of that process.  As mentioned above, we don’t look for specific qualifications in our Volunteers, but we do value the following qualities.

Our reading helpers are:

  • Patient and encouraging
  • Good listeners
  • Able to work one-to-one with children at the child’s pace
  • Good communicators
  • Flexible and approachable
  • Passionate about literacy