Read On volunteer

Role description for Read On volunteers.

Read On is a learning to read scheme for adults who want to improve their reading skills but may have limited or no reading ability. Volunteers will offer one-to-one support to adults who sign up to the West Sussex Library Service Read On scheme. Helping them develop and improve their reading skills while gaining confidence using the material and resources provided.

The role requires:

  • strong level of literacy
  • good communication and people skills
  • excellent organisational skills
  • initiative and the ability to work without supervision
  • an ability to work with a learner on an individual basis
  • a professional approach with a commitment to confidentiality and a positive attitude
  • willingness to support learners where English is not their first language.

The ideal volunteer will:

  • enjoy communicating and spending time with people
  • have an enthusiasm for books and reading, encouraging people to learn to read
  • have a strong commitment in developing the skills of others
    demonstrate patience and understanding in a sensitive situation
  • be welcoming and supportive to individual learners
  • adapt to different levels of skill and knowledge
  • have a non-judgemental attitude, with a commitment to equality and diversity, to ensure everyone feels valued and included
  • be able to travel to local libraries
  • be reliable and prepared to commit to a minimum timescale
  • be aged 18+.

Your duties will be to:

  • listen to the needs of individual learners and work with them to support their reading journey
  • organise and schedule dates for regular coaching sessions in the library with your learner
  • monitor and log progress of learners
  • communicate with the library point of contact
  • undertake relevant training to help understand how learners learn to read
  • support and motivate learners
  • become fully familiar with the principles of phonics and methods in the coaching manual provided.

Regularity of duties

At least one weekly session with your learner at a local library, approximately 1-2 hours a week, with the ability to commit to regular sessions.

Guidance and support

At least one member of library service staff will be on duty with you in the library. All library volunteers will be given a local contact who can provide additional support and information.

Training and equipment

Read On volunteers will receive induction training (including health and safety) and guidance on how to use the resources provided. Additional volunteer training will be organised periodically for those who are interested.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

This role does not require a DBS check.


One reference will be required before the volunteer is accepted for the role. This will be someone who has known you in a personal, work or voluntary capacity for at least three years.

Other information

All volunteers will be asked to sign a volunteer agreement and may be required to carry out a practical exercise relevant to the role before starting.

Volunteers will be required to wear a lanyard and volunteer photo ID badge whilst in the library and sign the attendance sheet on arrival and departure.

All library volunteers will be encouraged to become a member of West Sussex Library Service and subscribe to the Volunteer eNewsletter to keep up to date with their volunteer role and the latest library news.

Last updated:
27 October 2023
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