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Volunteering with The Reader Organisation in Barnet

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 3rd September 2013
"I have learnt more about ways to help generate understanding. And I have learnt a lot about some remarkable people." - Volunteer facilitator, Barnet
Two women looking inquisitively at their GIR groupThe Reader Organisation is looking for reading facilitators of all abilities with excellent communication skills to facilitate shared reading groups on a voluntary basis in a variety of community settings in Barnet. Successful applicants are needed for a minimum of half a day every week, to read aloud and facilitate discussions about short stories, poetry and novels. As part of the project, there will be opportunities to read to older people in care settings or to local people of all ages, in groups based on the Get Into Reading model.
Our Volunteer project in Barnet is our first volunteer-led project in community settings and has created a strong group of skilled and committed volunteers as well as a shared reading presence in the area. One of our Barnet volunteers, Ann, speaks about her experience as a volunteer facilitator in a care home:

Staff tell us the group has had a very positive effect on members. They talk about it all week, apparently, and about the texts we have shared. One, whose dementia we thought precluded much understanding, has started reciting with great enjoyment. Even the music events the home arrange do not have the same impact. ‘Mondays have taken on a completely new aspect. I’ve got something to look forward to now, for the first time in years’, one member said to me recently.

I feel very privileged to work with this group. The members are truly inspiring. Some of them say they love the group because it keeps them learning. It keeps me learning too, all the time.

 What we're looking for:

In addition to excellent communications skills in English Language, reading group facilitators need to be:

  •  good listeners and effective communicators;
  • able to facilitate rather than dominate;
  • willing to allow reading to affect the way they think or feel;
  • interested in what life can throw at us all;
  • open to new ways of approaching literature

Volunteers are first invited to attend reading sessions to get an understanding of what the role entails and then have an informal interview with the coordinator. All recruited volunteers will receive full induction and training from The Reader Organisation beginning from Thursday 24th October 2013.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Paul Higgins on or 07985 718744

More information can be found on the Working With Us section of our website.

Read more about Ann's experience of volunteering with The Reader Organisation on the Reader Stories section of our website.

1 thoughts on “Volunteering with The Reader Organisation in Barnet

[…] We’re currently looking to expand the number of volunteers in our Barnet Volunteering Project in London, where volunteers can read for a minimum of half a day a week in older people’s care and local community settings around the area. More details about the project can be found on our website and here on The Reader Online. […]

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