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Reading volunteer


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Each year, eight children in an average class will leave primary school unable to read well. These children will often struggle in school, and beyond. Many children have fallen even further behind with their reading after the devastating impact of Covid-19.

As a Bookmark volunteer, you could do something incredible and change a child’s story.

You’ll help a 5-8 year-old learn to read, developing their skills and confidence. You will read together, play games, and see your reader progress, either through our secure online platform or in person at a local school.

Our programme involves 30-minute sessions with the same child, twice a week, for six weeks. You book your programme through the Bookmark app and select sessions at times that work with your schedule.

“It was such a wonderful experience. I was very happy knowing that I was helping someone. The child really improved a lot during the 6 weeks. It was really rewarding for me to see the improvement.” — Joe, Bookmark volunteer.

Teaching & Training,Youth Work,Advice, Information & Support,Befriending, Buddying & Mentoring,Community Work

Reading & Writing

Is volunteering with Bookmark right for me? Our volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. At Bookmark we aim to make volunteering accessible to as many people as possible, so we can help more children. Are you over 18 and currently living in the UK? Are you passionate about literacy and its importance? Are you able to show enthusiasm, encouragement, empathy and patience? Can you commit to two 30-minute sessions a week, for six consecutive weeks? Are you willing to complete at least 3 six-week programmes a year? Can you provide two references for your application (for safeguarding reasons)? Do you have access to a PC, laptop or Chromebook with a webcam and internet connection (iPads, phones and tablets are not compatible), and do you feel relatively comfortable using technology? If NO, then you can still apply to be to volunteer on our face-to-face programmes in future - our team will be in touch once it is safe to resume these. Are you planning to volunteer from a work computer? Check here to see if you can access our reading platform.

Helping a child with their reading is also really fun and rewarding. Over 60% of our volunteers said their own wellbeing had improved because of volunteering with Bookmark. We arrange literary-based events for volunteers who want to meet up and chat to like minded people. If you would like to get more involved with the charity, whether writing a guest blog, speaking at an event, or using your talent to help more children learn to read, we welcome ideas!

Further location details may be provided below.


Online or in-person dependent on what suits the individual best.


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18 and over

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