Photo from Argyll & Bute, where Rothesay library had the help of 13 teenage volunteers from the local secondary school.
Take some time to think in groups of the benefits you might find in your library Important to emphasise to staff that young people are not a threat to their jobs. All our evidence points to the value of young people working alongside library staff and bringing a new perspective to the Summer Reading Challenge
Suggest to staff and volunteers that they collect stories from children as the Challenge progresses so that they have advocacy case studies for themselves and for TRA
For local volunteer organisations, youth services, universities, colleges and schools, library services have a fantastic offer in terms of volunteering opportunities for young people – so make sure they all know it! Networking opportunity for libraries to engage with other Local Authority partners and seek support for year round volunteering opportunities.Library services will ensure all paperwork is in place, and will recruit and support young volunteers in adherence with LA policiesLibrary staff will support the young people and ensure they are clear on their rolesMany young people are looking for opportunities that give them a chance to work with children – and that is fun!It’s good to have something local, and in the holidays.As it’s an annual programme, young people can come back again or stay involved in the library, and can take on more responsibility/progress their role.
Videos of volunteers talking about their experiences are available at: www.readingagency.org.uk/young-people/003-skills/resources
See report, downloadable from Reading Agency website at http://readingagency.org.uk/children/SRCVolunteeringReport2012.pdf
Many said that they were already very interested in books and reading!
Here are some of the ways that the young people have continued to help in libraries.
We will be producing resources which can be downloaded from Summer Reading Challenge library resources web page, such as badges, certificates and activity sheets. The badges and certificates are also available to order from the order form.The volunteers will be encouraged to share ideas via the Reading Activists’ Page on The Reading Agency website.And, we have put together a suggested book list for young people, for their own summer time reading!
Here’s the certificate in the two availableformats (Scottish version on the right hand side)
These are a range of roles which could be offered to young volunteers. By offering a range of roles, there are opportunities for developing different skills, and also for offering a progression to young people who have volunteered before. The use of the word Activist ties the role to the Reading Activists programme, which aims to involve young people throughout the UK in creative activities through libraries.Summer Reading Challenge ActivitistsNew volunteers will be able to help in any library over the summer, supporting the library staff and helping children to get the most out of the Challenge. The role might include:Signing children up to the ChallengeHelping children to find and choose booksListening to them talking about their booksHelping children to use the Summer Reading Challenge websiteHelping with eventsUsing activity sheets and other ideas to help children share their reading choices with their peersCollecting data for evaluation AmbassadorAmbassadors promote and advocate for the Summer Reading Challenge in schools and other community settings during the school summer term. They encourage children to take part in the Challenge. The role might include:Going into schools with presentations about the ChallengeCreating displays in schoolsRunning Creepy House activities and events during the Summer term to encourage children to take part in the Challenge ReporterReporters are volunteers with an interest in gaining media and journalism skills. They help promote the Challenge online and profile their library’s work. The role might include: Taking photos and video footage (signed forms required for any children featured)Writing reviews of activities and eventsPromote the Challenge via blogging, photos and news items.Talking to the pressDoing interviews for radio/TVLeaderLeaders have probably volunteered for the Challenge before and are looking to develop their skills and widen their experience. The role might include:Running training sessions for other volunteers Timetabling volunteer schedulesMentoring volunteers throughout the ChallengePlanning volunteer team building events and activities Planning volunteer celebration events
It’s a good idea to have a table where the young volunteers can sit and welcome children joining the Challenge, or bringing back their books – they usually have great ideas about how to make eye-catching displays & make it look fun.A useful tip is to have a diary on the table, where volunteers can leave notes about their session; what happened, any comments from children, any useful information for other volunteers or staff.Add extra slides for each role!!
It is important that we don’t overload your Summer Reading Challenge volunteering programme with so many procedures that it becomes onerous for staff and off-putting for young people. However, you will need some guidelines in place to make sure that your work with volunteers runs smoothly.Your library service may very well already have a volunteer policy that you can refer to, and that you can check to ensure you have all the paperwork and procedures in place before you start involving young volunteers. If not, a sample policy is included in our volunteering templates.Having a volunteer policy: makes a clear statement to volunteers, staff and the wider community that your service cares about volunteers ensures everyone understands how and why you use volunteers makes it easier to recruit volunteers helps you to retain volunteers ensures the delivery of a good quality service enhances the reputation of your organisation enables you to respond positively to funders' requests for evidence of good practice supports you in complying with legal requirements sets out expectations for everyone and helps to eliminate the possibility of disappointment and a failed relationship helps you to evaluate progress
Your volunteering policy should be unique to your particular service as your aims, objectives and needs will be different to those of other organisations. However there is some standard information that any volunteering policy should include: a written statement of the aims and values of your library and of the role that volunteers play in delivering your objectives, recognising the complementary roles of paid staff and volunteersthe health and safety requirements for employing volunteers, including documents for undertaking risk assessments an explanation of what your library expects of volunteers and what volunteers can expect from you the roles that volunteers will play in the service and the support, protection and benefits that volunteers are entitled to guidelines for the recruitment and selection of volunteers, including information about underlying principles of quality, diversity and equal opportunitiesinformation about the induction, training, support and supervision available to young volunteers guidelines for how the contribution of young volunteers will be recognised and rewarded, monitored and evaluateda code of practice governing the relationship of volunteers with your service
Make posters simple and to-the-point. Stress that it will be fun!For instructions on how to use Vinspired website, go to xxxxxx
Volunteer roles are as important as those of paid staff and although the selection policy should be informal it is good practice to ask YP to fill in application forms which give them an opportunity to explain why they are interested in the role.Interviews will be more like a conversation drawing out YP’s skills and aptitudes. Some authorities hold group interviews but it is essential that everyone has a chance to speak.Parental permission needed for Under 16s.Some applicants may not be suitable but encourage them to look for other opportunities(local partnerships will be important here).Do the volunteers reflect your local demographic? Community language speakers can be invaluable when talking to parents.
Health and safety policyYoung volunteers have a right to the same health and safety protections, training and advice as your staff. As part of their induction, volunteers should be made aware of the health and safety policy and any other relevant policies (e.g. around confidentiality).Risk assessmentYou should carry out a risk assessment in relation to all your Summer Reading Challenge volunteer roles. Identify what could go wrong to mitigate against the risk, but don’t let it put you off! The risks to the young volunteer, the library and other customers are minimal. We have more detailed information about this in the handbook, and there is also a Risk Assessment template which you could use. Training and induction – induct and train all volunteers so that they are aware of potential risks to their health and safety. Training will also mitigate against the risk of volunteers behaving inappropriately – e.g. by providing incorrect information Child protectionYour Summer Reading Challenge volunteers will be coming into contact with children, some of whom will be alone and unaccompanied. Try to mitigate the small risk to children and to the volunteers by: advising volunteers about avoiding physical contact and not taking a child to the toilet, ensuring that library staff are in the vicinity, etc. DBS checkingCheck your local authority guidance on whether DBS checks are required for your young volunteers.
Induction and training is an important part of giving young people a positive library volunteering experience. Once you’ve recruited your young people, you’ll need to get them inducted as quickly as possible to keep them interested. Induction doesn’t have to be a boring checklist. Think about what they need to know and how you can convey the information in a fun way. Ideally, induct groups of young people together. You could ask other young people to do the induction. Sponsors might be able to help with venues/refreshments (e.g. Starbucks have provided this in some authorities) Present any written information in a short and jargon-free way Write down the dates, times and address of their first session. Prepare a volunteer agreement – that clarifies expectations and give them a copy. See volunteering template
Think through all the support that the young volunteers will need Group/ peer support - how can young people help each other to feel supported? Staff support – who is the main contact for the volunteer in the library?Service support – what happens when local relationships break down?
Many more awards are available – these are the most common. There may be a local authority award and someone employed by the local authority to support accreditation so check this out.
Use these events to promote more opportunities in the library e.g. Chatterbooks
TRA will send out link to Survey Monkey form for registration and follow-up.
Summer reading challenge 2013 - Involving young volunteers
Summer Reading Challenge 2013 Involving Young Volunteers
Training PresentationSection 1: why involve youngpeople as volunteers? Thebenefits, and the results todateSection 2: resources and rolesto support young volunteershelping with the SummerReading Challenge in 2013Section 3: paperwork!Section 4: accreditation,recognition and evaluation
Why involve young people as volunteers? The benefits, and the resultsto dateSECTION 1
How has volunteering with the Summer Reading Challenge developed?• Library services have involved young people as volunteers helping with Summer Reading Challenge for many years, e.g. West Sussex, Essex ,Tameside, London Borough of Lewisham• In 2010 The Reading Agency had funding from volunteer charity v and the John Laing Charitable Trust to develop the volunteering programme for the Summer Reading Challenge
How has volunteering with the Summer Reading Challenge developed?• 2010 – 20 pilot authorities trained/supported• 2011 – 50 authorities trained/supported• 2012 – all authorities offered training/support• From 2011 to 2013, funded by John Laing Charitable Trust
Benefits of involving young volunteers – for libraries• Support with administering the Summer Reading Challenge• A more youthful image• The enthusiasm and fresh perspective of young people• The skills young people can bring – such as digital/creative skills• Increased library usage by young people• A link with local communities• Help to deliver activities• Staff confidence in working positively with young people• A fresh look at working practices
Benefits of involving young volunteers – for young people• Valuable work experience; especially good for those thinking of a career working with children• Counts towards accreditation for CVs, UCAS applications etc., E.g. Duke of Edinburgh’s Award• A reference for employment• The opportunity to develop confidence, social skills, employment opportunities and literacy skills• The opportunity to make a positive contribution to their communities – they want to help children succeed• A chance to make new friends• Encouragement to read more
Benefits of involving young volunteers – for children• More one-to-one attention from volunteers and staff• A chance to talk in more detail about their reading experiences• Reading role models to raise their aspirations• Help with digital technology• New, creative activities linked to the Challenge• Encouragement to complete the Challenge
Library service offer to partner organisationsFor local volunteer organisations, youthservices, universities, colleges and schools:• Safe places – and in all areas• Supportive staff• Good practices• Work with children• In the holidays!• Opportunity for progression
In the words of a young volunteer…"I never used to be a confidentreader but volunteering made mesee how confident I could be. Ifyoud asked me 4 years ago if youthought Id be at Downing Streetnow Id have said no. Ive lovedevery single minute ofvolunteering and its improved myconfidence miles.”Tom Hotston, 15, Reading Activist,Warrington Reading Activists at Downing Street, Jan 2013
Volunteers speak about their experiencesYou can listen to more volunteers speaking about their experiences at:www.readingagency.org.uk/young-people/003-skills/resources
Results 2012• 4382 young volunteers aged 11-24 years recruited (5761 volunteers in total across all ages)• 49% increase in the number of volunteers recruited compared with 2011• 97% of volunteers said they learnt new things and gained skills and experience through volunteering for the Summer Reading Challenge• 85% of volunteers said they would like to keep volunteering in a library after the Summer Reading Challenge has finished.
Results 2012 – libraries and reading• 67% of volunteers said they would use their libraries more ”There are many resources in the libraries which we take for grantedand since working in a library I understand how much hard work the staff putin to maintaining the library for our benefit. Getting to know the staff hasbeen a privilege and is much appreciated.” Hareeka, 17, Hounslow• 53% felt that they were more interested in books and reading as a result of volunteering ”I have witnessed first hand the positive impact that reading has on young children which has inspired me greatly to pursue my own reading.” Georgia, 17, Gloucestershire
Results 2012• 84% of library authorities “Proved very successful, enjoyed by the volunteers and extremely helpful said in their opinion the and useful to the library staff. They volunteers helped more were very enthusiastic and got fully children to complete the involved in registering children, Challenge. helping with craft activities, talking• Anecdotal evidence that to children and parents about the challenge and reading and male volunteers are proving encouraging children to keep going to be good role models for and finish.” boys Mark Heaton, Rotherham
Comments from library staff“Children and parents very “Families report that havingmuch appreciated the volunteers for their children tovolunteers and the time that discuss their reading with wasthey were able to spend with really beneficial and addschildren, and male volunteers value to the scheme”certainly encouraged boys Russell Allen, West Sussextaking part.” LibrariesCarol Hales, Surrey Libraries
Results 2012• 85% of volunteers said they would like to keep volunteering in a library after the Summer Reading Challenge has finished.• 65% of library authorities have offered volunteers opportunities to continue volunteering in the library or the community after the summer, with offers made to at least 1023 volunteers.• In addition, 15 library authorities offered job opportunities to 27 volunteers.• More details on results can be found in the report on The Reading Agency website: www.readingagency.org.uk
Further volunteering• Help with family fun days; manga group; craft events; Bookstart; promoting self service machines.• Helping to run Chatterbooks groups• Helping with book groups, helping with activities, helping with the home library service, helping with an adult listening group.• Helping at homework clubs and with childrens activities• Supporting staff with half-term and weekend events• Peer Mentoring project with Home Work club, Youth consultancy projects to buy stock• Assisting with other library events• Running a teenage reading group, visits to libraries with questionnaires for the public.• Helping with Family Learning Festival, rhymetimes, holiday activities, Reading Activist opportunities
Volunteer snapshot: Jodie“I would definitely encourage otheryoung people to volunteer for theSummer Reading Challenge, as it hasbeen a rewarding experience for me.I have met new people, developednew skills and also had funvolunteering.The skills I have obtained have beenvery useful for getting a job, so Iwould encourage other people tovolunteer to help enhance their ownCVs.”Jodie Carpenter, 21, Dudley
Sharing Experiences• Over the summer, volunteers were encouraged to blog about their experiences. Here are some of the young people and some of the ways they got involved.• One of the young volunteers, Hannah from South Gloucestershire, even created her own childrens book during her volunteering work, which she read to groups of children at storytime events.
Resources and roles to support young volunteers helping with theSummer Reading Challenge in 2013SECTION 2
• Resources • Volunteer badges • Certificates • Activity sheets • Reading Activists’ web page • Reading/book list
Volunteer roles• Summer Reading Challenge Activists • Helping children take part in the Challenge• Reporters • Blogging and recording• Ambassadors • Visiting schools to talk about Challenge• Leaders • Planning and supporting
Summer Reading Challenge Activist• Signing children up to the Challenge• Helping children to find and choose books• Listening to them talking about their books• Helping children to use the Summer Reading Challenge website – add titles to the Book Sorter• Helping with events• Using activity sheets and other ideas to help children share their reading choices with their peers• Collecting data for evaluation
Volunteer Snapshot: Activist James did 175 hours of volunteering in two libraries in Warrington during summer 2012. He was one of the Reading Activists invited to a celebration event at No. 11 Downing Street.
ReportersReporters are volunteers with an interest • You can read work fromin gaining media and journalism skills.They help promote the Challenge online Reporters volunteering forand profile their library’s work. The role last year’s Challenge here:might include: • http://readingagency.org.uk• Taking photos and video footage• Writing reviews of activities and /young-people/002- events showcase/star-storylab-• Promoting the Challenge via reporters.html blogging, and posting photos and news items.• Talking to the press• Doing interviews for radio/TV
LeadersLeaders have probably volunteered for the Challenge beforeand are looking to develop their skills and widen theirexperience. The role might include:• Running training sessions for other volunteers• Timetabling volunteer schedules• Mentoring volunteers throughout the Challenge• Planning volunteer team building events and activities• Planning volunteer celebration events
Volunteer Snapshot: LeaderAlex, a volunteer from Wakefield, worked with Wakefield Libraryservice to create a film of the Summer Reading Challenge in2011. This year he is progressing to a leader and mentor role:“I am in talks with Wakefield Library Service to progress into amentor for volunteering in Wakefield and give training on videoediting and creation. I hope that during this summer I would beable to visit all my districts libraries and possibly shoot somemore footage in order to create a video for the 2013 readingchallenge alongside the volunteers and staff of Wakefield LibraryService.”
AmbassadorsAmbassadors encourage children in primary schools duringthe school summer term to take part in the SummerReading Challenge. The role might include:• Going into other schools with presentations about the Challenge• Creating displays in schools• Running activities and events during the Summer term to encourage children to take part in the Challenge• Volunteering in libraries over the summer
Volunteer PolicyHaving a volunteer policy:• is a clear statement that you care about volunteers• ensures everyone understands the rationale• makes it easier to recruit and retain volunteers• ensures good quality• enables you to evidence good practice• supports you in complying with legal requirements• sets out expectations for all• helps with evaluation
What’s in a volunteer policy?• written statement of service values and the role that volunteers play in delivering them• health and safety requirements• an explanation of expectations• roles that volunteers play and the protection and benefits they are entitled to• guidelines for recruitment and selection• information about induction, training and supervision• guidelines for recognition and reward• a code of practice
RecruitmentWhere are you going to Which partners are youadvertise? going to work with to• In library recruit volunteers?• At schools • Schools• On website/social media • Colleges• Vinspired website • Universities• Do-it website • Local volunteering• Or simply ask young people organisations from reading groups/other • Vinvolved teams
Selecting young volunteers• Do you need to use application forms?• How will you interview young people?• Will you need parental permission?• What if applicants aren’t suitable?• Importance of equal opportunities
Keeping everyone safeFollow your local authority guidelines:• Health and Safety policy• Risk assessment• Training and induction• Child protection• DBS checking
Induction• Do it quickly!• Make it fun• Train young people together• Prepare a volunteer agreement
Support for young volunteersThink about• Group/ peer support for volunteers (mobile numbers?)• Staff support for volunteers• Service support for volunteers (including when local relationships break down)
Accreditation, recognition and evaluationSECTION 4
Accreditation Awards• Duke of Edinburgh’s Award• ASDAN Activities Award• Youth Achievement Award• Arts Award• Children’s University• Local Awards• Vinspired• Welsh Bacc/International Bacc• Saltire Award
Celebrating Achievement• Certificate• Awards ceremony – ask councillors/mayor/local dignitaries• Young volunteers can present medals to children and vice versa!
EvaluationWe need to evaluate:• Numbers of young people volunteering• How many hours• Evidence of young people’s experience• Accreditation gained• Further volunteering/job opportunitiesFor the Summer Reading Challenge we also want to monitor:• Any increase in take up and completion rate by children• Any differences volunteers make for the children taking part
Evaluation methods• For volunteers: • Registration form and survey Ethnicity, gender and age Confidence/attitudes to libraries/expectations before volunteering • Post-volunteering survey Confidence/attitudes to libraries/skills gained after volunteering• For libraries • Evaluation form – by authority • Comments/interviews with children
Good luck! For more advice and resources please visit:www.readingagency.org.uk/reading activists