Reading Friends

Reading Friends volunteers meet with Reading Friends participants, either one-to-one or in a group, to use reading (in any format) as a way of sparking conversations.
Duration: Ongoing
When can volunteers volunteer? Fortnightly, Monthly
Availability:

This grid shows when you can volunteer for this organisation. E.G Monday morning.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

For reading in a group setting:
- Lead group reading activities and facilitate conversation using reading materials as a basis for discussion.
- Make practical arrangements to identify and select suitable materials (books, newspapers, handling objects etc.) which focus on the groups’ interests.
- Prepare other resources as necessary (chairs, tea, coffee etc.) in advance of each session.
- Be aware of and sensitive to the needs of those in the group.
- Ensure everyone is able to contribute to the session and feels welcomed and involved.
- Lead on various themed activities (e.g. memory boxes, etc.).
- Help to clean and tidy up following sessions.
- Take part in regular supervision meetings.
- Contribute to the evaluation of the project as required.
- Feedback any issues or concerns to the Project Coordinator

For one-to-one home visiting:
- Make practical arrangements to identify and select suitable materials which focus on the Reading Friend’s interests (books, newspapers etc.).
- Visit the Reading Friend in their own home, on a regular basis.
- Provide companionship and conversation using the reading materials as a basis for discussion.
- Feedback any issues or concerns to the Project Coordinator.
- Contribute to the evaluation of the project as required.
- Take part in regular supervision meetings.
- Maintain appropriate boundaries.

Skill and Qualifications Required:

- A friendly and approachable manner
- Good communication and listening skills with the ability to build rapport through conversation.
- A patient and sensitive approach and the ability to empathise with people.
- Reliable and trustworthy.
- A love of reading and the desire to share this with others.
- The confidence to read to others.
- The ability to maintain a meaningful conversation for a prolonged period in the Reading Friend’s first language.
- An understanding of the need for confidentiality.
- Have the ability to cope with the duties and responsibilities of the role and the associated environment, including an understanding of health and safety and safeguarding (training will be provided) and the ability to deal calmly with an emergency.
- Able to follow guidelines/instructions.
- Initiative and the ability to work without supervision.
- Willing to learn new knowledge and skills.

Areas of Interest: Community, Community centre, Customer Services, Health and wellbeing, Libraries, Mental Health, Older people, Social Welfare
Opportunity suitable for: Long term commitment, Older people, University students, With friends, 18 and over
What activities will the volunteer do? Befriending, Care work, Customer Services, Lending a helping hand
Skills gained in this role: Leadership, Listening, Organising, Reading and writing, Talking to others
Home based opportunity? No
DBS Check Required: Yes
Opportunity Accessibility: Step free access clearly signposted into the building, Automatic opening doors, Lift to other floors / step free access throughout the building, Accessible toilets, Area for assistance dogs nearby

About the host organisation

Hosted by: Oldham Libraries
Organisation Profile: We provide a wide range of opportunities across our 12 libraries from books and reading to theatre to health and wellbeing. We are also able to offer opportunities for working with children, older people or specific groups.