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Summer Reading Challenge 2014 Involving Young Volunteers.

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Presentation on theme: "Summer Reading Challenge 2014 Involving Young Volunteers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Summer Reading Challenge 2014 Involving Young Volunteers

2 Training Presentation Section 1: why involve young people as volunteers? The benefits, and the results to date Section 2: resources and roles to support young volunteers helping with the Summer Reading Challenge in 2014 Section 3: paperwork! Section 4: accreditation, recognition and evaluation


4 SECTION 1 Why involve young people as volunteers? The benefits, and the results to date

5 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

6 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. In 2013 and 2014, funded by the Social Action Fund

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 Library service offer to partner organisations For local volunteer organisations, youth services, universities, colleges and schools: Safe places – and in all areas Supportive staff Good practices Work with children In the holidays! Opportunity for progression

11 In the words of a young volunteer… "I never used to be a confident reader but volunteering made me see how confident I could be. If you'd asked me 4 years ago if you thought I'd be at Downing Street now I'd have said 'no'. I've loved every single minute of volunteering and it's improved my confidence miles.” Tom Hotston, 15, Reading Activist, Warrington Reading Activists at Downing Street, Jan 2013

12 Volunteers speak about their experiences You can listen to more volunteers speaking about their experiences at:

13 Results 2013 5,684 young volunteers aged 12-24 years recruited in libraries in the UK 30% increase in the number of volunteers recruited compared with 2012 96% of volunteers said they learnt new things and gained skills and experience through volunteering for the Summer Reading Challenge 71% of volunteers said they would like to keep volunteering in a library after the Summer Reading Challenge has finished.

14 Results 2013 – libraries and reading 55% of volunteers felt that they were more interested in books and reading as a result of being involved with the Summer Reading Challenge. 63% of volunteers intend to use the library more now, after completing the volunteering “The experience was fantastic. I achieved my first award on vInspired and had some brilliant opportunities. I've been able to write articles, I’ve had the prospects of continuing a reading group at the library and my writing skills progressed - which means a great deal to me.” Jess, Harrogate “

15 Results 2013 There was definitely some increase in completion in those libraries that had volunteers. Rachel Levy, Sutton We had many positive comments about volunteers and how essential they are in supporting library staff with the extra work involved. Children, parents and staff commented that talking to the volunteers about their books was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Challenge for children. Paul Howarth, Suffolk 81% of library authorities said the volunteers helped more children to complete the Challenge by reading six books, 24% felt this strongly. 97% of volunteers felt they helped children with their reading confidence (37% A Lot, 60% A Little).

16 Comments from libraries “Children and parents very much appreciated the volunteers and the time that they were able to spend with children, and male volunteers certainly encouraged boys taking part.” Carol Hales, Surrey Libraries “Families report that having volunteers for their children to discuss their reading with was really beneficial and adds value to the scheme” Russell Allen, West Sussex Libraries

17 Comments from volunteers “I have volunteered for over two years now in Redbridge Libraries and I have enjoyed all aspects of it. I have learnt valuable skills that have helped me in and outside of school and I feel that it is a good opportunity for young people to give back to the community.” Saagar, Redbridge I would like to say that volunteering for the summer reading challenge has helped me develop many skills and has greatly boosted my confidence. I hope I can continue to help the community further by volunteering in future library events.” Muhammad, Redbridge

18 Results 2013 71% of volunteers said they would like to keep volunteering in a library after the Summer Reading Challenge has finished. 53% of library authorities have offered young people opportunities to continue volunteering in the library or the community after the summer, with offers made to at least 2,181 volunteers. In addition, 10 library authorities offered job opportunities to 15 volunteers. More details on results can be found in the report on The Reading Agency website:

19 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 children's 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

20 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.

21 SECTION 2 Resources and roles to support young volunteers helping with the Summer Reading Challenge in 2014


23 Resources T-shirt, badge, booklet, certificate Activity sheets Reading Activists’ web page Reading/book list Mythical Maze - 2014



26 Volunteer roles Summer Reading Challenge Activists Helping children take part in the Challenge Reporters Blogging and recording Leaders Planning and supporting

27 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

28 Reporters case study: Swansea Swansea took on 35 young Reading Activist volunteers this summer, all aged 14 to 24. Several of these took on the role of Summer Reading Challenge reporters, which included coming up with the material for the blog: Writing original spooky stories for children Tweeting spook-themed jokes Posting puzzles and colouring pictures Creating video tutorials of the activities that they had devised. Creating celebratory photo-stories


30 Leaders Leaders 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 schedules Mentoring volunteers throughout the Challenge Planning volunteer team building events and activities Planning volunteer celebration events

31 Volunteer Snapshot: Leader Alex, a volunteer from Wakefield, worked with Wakefield Library service to create a film of the Summer Reading Challenge in 2011. This year he is progressing to a leader and mentor role: “I am in talks with Wakefield Library Service to progress into a mentor for volunteering in Wakefield and give training on video editing and creation. I hope that during this summer I would be able to visit all my districts libraries and possibly shoot some more footage in order to create a video for the 2013 reading challenge alongside the volunteers and staff of Wakefield Library Service.”

32 Working with volunteers in schools Volunteers can also help in schools, encouraging children in primary schools during the school summer term to take part in the Summer Reading 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

33 SECTION 3 Paperwork: volunteer policy, risk assessment, volunteer agreement, etc.

34 Volunteer Policy Having 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

35 Resources and support Training and distance support Advocacy and recruitment resources Post card Advocacy cards Schools pack Volunteer handbook, case studies and best practice guides Promotional films Volunteer pack T-shirt, badge, volunteer booklet and log, Certificate Digital platform Support to increase numbers Support to deepen volunteer involvement

36 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

37 Recruitment Where are you going to advertise? In library At schools On website/social media Vinspired website Vinspired Do-it website Do-it Talk to young people you are working with Which partners are you going to work with to recruit volunteers? Schools Colleges Universities Local volunteering organisations

38 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

39 Keeping everyone safe Follow your local authority guidelines: Health and Safety policy Risk assessment Training and induction Child protection DBS checking

40 Induction Do it quickly! Make it fun Train young people together Prepare a volunteer agreement

41 Support for young volunteers Think about Group/ peer support for volunteers (mobile numbers?) Staff support for volunteers Service support for volunteers (including when local relationships break down)

42 SECTION 4 Accreditation, recognition and evaluation

43 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

44 Celebrating Achievement Certificate Awards ceremony – ask councillors/mayor/local dignitaries Young volunteers can present medals to children and vice versa!

45 Evaluation We need to evaluate: Numbers of young people volunteering How many hours Evidence of young people’s experience Accreditation gained Further volunteering/job opportunities For 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

46 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

47 Good luck! For more advice and resources please visit: activists activists

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