West London

Volunteering in West London

Shared Reading groups have been running in the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea since 2010. Working in partnership with the Tri-Borough Library service, we deliver Shared Reading groups in libraries, community centres, mental health services and dementia services.

“I have worked with people and groups before, but here I gained the ability to listen to others without giving my opinion, and not to judge them.”

With support and training from The Reader staff, our volunteers set up and deliver Shared Reading groups in a range of settings, and form a supportive community among themselves.

Volunteers are helping us to provide Shared Reading experiences for adults across the borough, and we are growing. This year we will be setting up new groups in a variety of settings. Our groups work with adults and we aim to improve people’s well-being, social interaction and build confidence.

“The most positive thing about volunteering with Book Break was that I was able to affect people in such a deep profound way and they were able to do the same for me. I’ll probably never be the same again.”

By delivering a Shared Reading group you will be giving people in the local community the chance to experience reading in a new way, to interact with others, to reflect on their own lives and to think about the world we live in. We offer volunteers the chance to develop their skills by leading a Shared Reading group, by being part of their group member’s progress and also by experiencing shared reading for yourself.

Current opportunities

We are looking for volunteers who are able to make a weekly commitment to a Shared Reading group, and in return The Reader will offer training, ongoing support and feedback. We will set up new groups alongside volunteers in library and community settings, carefully matching each volunteer and host organisation. We are seeking:

  • Reader Leaders – volunteers who will train to lead their own weekly shared reading group
  • Other roles to support the regular weekly groups and the project overall

You will need:

  • Good basic literacy and comprehension and ability to read aloud; with a genuine interest in reading and a desire to expand your reading.
  • A spirit of enquiry and an ability or willingness to learn to facilitate conversation related to the text.
  • An ability to manage group dynamics with an openness to people and a desire to be with people in a human way, putting the needs of the group and the story ahead of your own needs.
  • A commitment to ongoing training and development

Reader Leaders will be required to attend Read to Lead, an in-depth training programme in Shared Reading which will set you on the path to shared reading. After completing training, you will receive ongoing support to develop your skills towards facilitating a long-term weekly reading group.

For more information, see the Team London website. 

Get in touch and be part of the story…

For further details on volunteering with Read and Relax groups please contact:

 lizison@thereader.org.uk / 07807 106 815

erincarlstrom@thereader.org.uk / 07483 972 020

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