Our volunteer portal

An online library where you can find useful tips, information and learning to help you keep your sessions fun, interesting and productive. There are downloadable things to read, videos to watch and activities you can use with the children. The best place to look to keep things on track or if you feel you need to try something new, it’s also the place to go to book onto events and meetings. If you are already a volunteer, you can enter the portal here.

Your learning and development

As well as all the self-directed resources available on the portal, we offer online trainer delivered group sessions with a new topic each term. We aim to provide space for every reading helper to attend at least one each year. We also make a recorded summary version available as each topics ‘run period’ comes to a close to ensure everyone gets the chance to view, if not participate.

Connecting our volunteers

No-one knows better what life as a reading helper is like than someone else doing the same thing. You can opt-in to our growing network of peer to peer support and be buddied with another reading helper. A great way to compare and contrast, and to share the worries and the joys either over the phone, email or video call or you may, over time, makes plans to meet up.

Volunteer champions

We are very lucky to have some ‘super’ volunteers, known as volunteer champions, who link in with volunteers in their local area and (when allowed) organise face to face meet ups. We’re growing this network - so this may not yet be available in your area - but we’ll get there! You might even like to take on this role yourself?

Online meet-ups

Our support team lead regular ‘coffee mornings’ although they may be in the afternoon! This is a chance to talk together in a small online group usually with a focus for discussion. We also bring groups of newer volunteers together after their first few weeks so that they can chat as a group about what’s going well and provide any support needed. We hope to be able to again offer our national reading helper conferences in future – online if not in person! These are an opportunity to hear from high profile speakers and participate in workshops, as well as enjoy the opportunity to connect with a larger group of reading helpers, as well as with us.


We try to keep our communications useful and to a minimum! We send a monthly message covering essential updates about our organisation, as well as sharing other helpful information. At times where we know we have a lot of queries coming up we also send out additional answers to ‘frequently asked questions’ messages.

Social media

Do search us out on social media as we share book-related content and other updates on all channels. And feel free to post about your positive experiences as a reading helper (always remembering to keep children anonymous) We know our reading helpers have the best stories to share and everyone just loves to hear them! 

Facebook - @beanstalkreads

Twitter - @beanstalkreads

Instagram - @beanstalkreads

Finally, the best way to contact us if your query isn’t answered through any of the options covered above is to email us on [email protected] We will respond as soon as we can: the inbox is staffed during office hours. We also tend to have a frequently asked questions and answers on the auto-response.

Meet our support representatives team

Apply to volunteer