Essex Library Services Reading Friends

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What is the role about?

Reading Friends is an exciting UK-wide programme from The Reading Agency. It’s been piloted in some other parts of the country over the last few years and now is being extended to Essex.

Developed with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Reading Friends tackles loneliness by bringing people together to read, chat and share stories.

Essex Library Services is looking for volunteers to support the roll out of the Reading Friends scheme across Essex.

What will it involve?

· Chatting to people, either one to one, or in groups, using reading to get people talking. Contact will be via phone or virtually initially. As restrictions lift it is planned to do in person sessions in libraries.

· Using reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start conversations. Nothing needs to be read before the session.

What skills do I need?

What skills and experience do you need?

· An interest in people

· Good communication and people skills

· Love of books and reading is not necessary, but would be a bonus

What will you get from volunteering?

· The satisfaction of contributing to the community and potentially preventing loneliness

· The chance to share the joy of reading

· Develop your experience and skills to enhance your CV


  • Accessibility
  • Data Protection policy
  • DBS check required
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Suitable for under 18s
    The minimum age for this role is 16 years.
  • Training provided
    You’ll receive specific training for your volunteering role. There will also be ongoing support from library staff.
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 09/02/2021

End Date: 09/02/2022

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning No No No No No No No
Afternoon No No No No No No No
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

This will be an as and when required role, with a minimum from 2 hours upwards a week. Over the next few months, as a way of preventing loneliness, there may be the opportunity to volunteer more frequently. A DBS check will be required.

Posted for
Essex Libraries

Register your Interest


  • Civic Responsibility and Communities
  • Employment, Education and Training
  • No specific interest


  • Advice and Information
  • Supporting People and Befriending

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