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Could you read with a looked after child?

Written by Lily Kehoe, 18th March 2024

“Thank you for helping me read better and for making reading fun and not stupid boring.”

Reading Hero, aged 6.

We’re really excited to be expanding our Reading Heroes project and now the hunt is on for more fantastic volunteers to read with children.

Could you, or someone you know, spare an hour a week to read with a care experienced child?

A child or young person is 'care experienced' if they are living, or have lived, in care at any stage in their life. This includes children who have experienced, or are currently, living in residential care, foster care, kinship care, or at home with a supervision order. In 2022, there were 82,170 children looked after by local authorities in England and this number is continuing to rise each year.

We're looking for volunteers who can read with to a child aged between 5-15 years old online (as a Reading Heroes volunteer) or in person with a child aged between 2-4 years  (as a Tiny Heroes volunteer). Please note: Tiny Heroes is currently running in Liverpool and Sefton only.

Both require a minimum commitment of six months.  The reading normally takes place for up to an hour between 4pm-7pm on a week day (as a Reading Heroes volunteer) or 9am-5pm (as a Tiny Heroes volunteer).

As a Reading Heroes volunteer, you’ll be instilling a love of stories which can have a life long positive impact.

Kara Orford, Head of Children & Young People at The Reader, saidThe number of care experienced children is growing in the UK, and research tells us that they are more at risk of social, emotional and mental health problems, and less likely to do well at school. There is a clear need to support these children and we know that Reading Heroes has an enormously positive impact on the young people we read with. We cannot deliver this amazing project without the wonderful Reading Heroes volunteers and as we expand into new areas, we urgently need more of them.”

To start your Reading Heroes journey, fill in a volunteer application form:

  • Training will be provided and will take place online
  • We will ask you to undertake a number of safeguarding requirements for this role including an enhanced DBS check, a reference request & safeguarding training.

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
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