We offer a rewarding opportunity, volunteering to help children in local primary schools develop a love of reading.
After successfully completing our application, interview, checking and training process, each volunteer is placed in a primary school close to them. They are assigned 3 children to work with and they visit the school twice a week, on each occasion sharing a half happy hour enjoying books, games and chat with the 3 children. They become special friends to these children in school and both parties look forward to the sessions.
ARCh provides initial and ongoing support for volunteers who become part of the ARCh family. Each volunteer is allocated a designated ARCh support worker who provides resources, advice and visits them in school. They also organise coffee mornings, book exchanges and we hold termly speaker events to which all our 260 volunteers are invited. Volunteers make new friends and colleagues within ARCh and their school and it provides an opportunity to get involved in their local community.
Volunteers often become more involved with their school – some help out on school trips, with extra curricular clubs etc. Others join the governing bodies.
No particular qualifications are needed to volunteer, just an enjoyment of reading and children’s company and good communication skills.
There is no upper age limit for volunteers, the majority are retired as they have the time to devote and the twice weekly commitment provides a useful shape for their week. We frequently train people in their 80’s, those who are carers, who have been bereaved or who have suffered from depression or illness or feeling isolated.
Our volunteers tell us they have as much fun as the children!