Volunteer at your local reading group

2.4 million adults in England alone can barely read or can’t read at all. We need your help to change people’s lives.
View our local Read Easy groups

What we do as a charity is unique, so are you and your volunteer role will be too.

Our Readers have often kept their literacy struggles a secret – too embarrassed and ashamed to seek help. Their bravery in coming to Read Easy means that you can help spark the transformation in their lives.

What’s involved?

What benefits are there to volunteering with Read Easy?

You’ll get a great deal of satisfaction from being part of your local Read Easy group in whatever role you do. It’s a brilliant way to meet new people, feel positively involved in your local community and gain and develop skills. 

Most of all we strive to make involvement in Read Easy enjoyable and rewarding for all.  

What volunteer roles can I do?

See all the roles on our Volunteering roles page. 

For most roles, Read Easy does not insist on any particular set of skills, but looks for enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to learn what’s needed for that role. 

We support our volunteers in their roles with a variety of online resources so you will need to be relatively comfortable using technology.

Who can volunteer?

We welcome applications from anybody who is interested. For legal, safeguarding and insurance reasons all volunteers must be aged 18 or over.

As far as possible, Read Easy groups recruit volunteers from all parts of the communities that they work in. Our ideal is that each group is made up of people who reflect the diversity in their community, can draw on a whole range of skills and experience, and will have the local connections to encourage those who want to learn to read to come forward for support.  

Do I have to travel to volunteer?

Groups meet in different ways, and you could be involved in both in person and virtual meetings. All roles have some element of in person activity such as meeting people in the local community, promoting the group and finding suitable venues. Management Team’s will consider remote volunteering dependent on the role which can be done using basic IT equipment and programmes.

Coordinator and Reading Coach roles are mostly in person, as it involves meeting and working with Readers, although some groups do remote coaching too. 

How much time would I need to give each week?

Reading coaches are asked to provide two half-hour sessions each week, plus any travelling time involved. If you take up one of the many interesting roles on a local group Management Team, the time commitment will vary according to the role and is also likely to vary each week. Ask your local Volunteer Recruiter for more details. 

Being a Reading Coach is an ongoing commitment to your Reader. Over the course of their journey, you’ll build a trusting relationship with your Reader and experience they joy of seeing them grow in ability and confidence.  

What skills do I need to have?

For most roles, Read Easy does not insist on any particular set of skills, but looks for enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to learn what’s needed for that role. However, skills and experience in a particular area may be useful. For brief individual role descriptions, see our Volunteering roles page. 

We want you to feel part of our Team and able to use your time and skills in ways that you will find genuinely rewarding. 

What’s the application process?

All groups are independent and have different vacancies. If you’re interested in a role, start by enquiring via the group’s webpage and then a Volunteer Recruiter will be in touch to have a chat. Following this there is an application form to complete, which will ask you for a couple of references, and you will be asked to attend an informal interview. You’ll find the process in detail on our How to volunteer page. 

What training is provided?

Reading Coaches receive free two half-day online training sessions before they begin coaching, and two half-day online training sessions a few months after starting coaching. Training and induction is also provided for Management Team members and Coordinators. 

What ongoing support will I receive?

As a Reading Coach, your Coordinator and local Literacy Specialist would provide you with whatever ongoing support you needed for your coaching sessions. There are also local Coach meetings which are an opportunity to discuss your experiences and receive further guidance and ongoing training. If you become a member of a local Management Team, you would be supported by your Team Leader as well as Read Easy UK’s Regional Adviser. 

We hold volunteer conferences and forums throughout the year which you will be invited to attend.  

All groups are encouraged to have an expenses policy in place for volunteers who incur travel and other expenses while carrying out their roles. The overall principle is that volunteers should not be out of pocket because of their volunteering, but that all volunteers must seek to get good value for the organisation. Speak to your local group about this during the application process.

How else can I support Read Easy if volunteering isn’t for me? 

Thank you for your interest in supporting us. You can help us reach more of the 2.4 million adults who struggle with reading by donating or fundraising.

“I can fit Read Easy work around my other interests and commitments, but mainly I believe what I am doing is very worthwhile and gives me the same sort of purpose in my life as when I was working. I also enjoy being part of a team with a common aim.”

Debbie – volunteer Coordinator with Read Easy Wythenshawe