"I love my sessions and feel like I am having an impact on the children's love of reading and their self-esteem. The school has been brilliant and very appreciative. Becoming a volunteer is one of the best things I've done!" Jill Blenkinsopp, Stockton-on-Tees

We've worked with volunteers for nearly 50 years!

We know that being a reading helper brings a range of benefits. Everyone who volunteers has their own motivations to do so and our training journey will give you a really good insight into the role to see if it matches your own expectations.  

Our volunteers tell us that being a reading helper has allowed them to:

  • Directly help children in their local community
  • Use their skills to give something back
  • Share a love of reading with the younger generation
  • Engage with their local community and our network of volunteers

And that it has enhanced their life by:

  • Improving their wellbeing
  • Allowing them to gain new skills 
  • Giving them experience of the school environment
  • Enabling them to feel useful and gain a new sense of purpose

Our schools tell us that our reading helpers enable their children to:

  • Have dedicated one to one time outside of the classroom with a trusted adult 
  • Improve their reading attainment and engagement across all areas of the curriculum
  • Develop a love of reading by sharing brilliant books and conversations with their reading helper
  • Improve their confidence and self-esteem 

We encourage anyone who understands the importance of reading to children's future success, who is able to give a few hours each week for a sustained period, to consider becoming a reading helper.... whatever your own motivation might be.

The children we support come, as you'd expect, from a wide range of backgrounds... and so do our volunteers. You don't need any previous experience so if you think you'd enjoy being a reading helper and are fluent in spoken and written English, please get in touch. 

Apply to volunteer now

Our training and support

"The quality of reading support offered by Coram Beanstalk is outstanding. Finding new volunteers after Covid, who might become long-standing readers, has been difficult, but those that we do have are excellent. One of the most important aspects of the scheme for us is the opportunity for our children to talk to people from outside of their local community about reading and the wider world, expanding horizons."