Make a difference this summer!

dragon logoAre you looking for something to do this summer? Want to give back to your community? Do you like reading? Looking for great skills and experience for your personal statement or CV?

Nessy and chumsChildren’s reading can ‘dip’ during the long summer holidays. The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge helps get three quarters of a million children into libraries to maintain their reading skills and confidence. Because everything changes when we read.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs annually throughout  the school summer holidays.  Children can sign up at their local library, then read six library books of their choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all for FREE!

Last year in Swindon 3,585 children joined the challenge  and  read a record 13684 books throughout the summer – this year our target is 14000!

If you are aged 14 and above, we really do need your help!

What will I get out of the experience?

  • 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 and Arts 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 your community.
  • a chance to make new friends.

What will I be doing as a volunteer?
We have two types of role this summer:
1.    SRC Volunteer – Encouraging enrolment, talking to children about books they’ve read, give out stickers, medals, certificates. View/download  the role description: Role Description – Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer
2.    SRC Marketing/Reporter Volunteer – Writing reviews of activities & events, promotion via all types of social media, taking photos/video, recommending good reads. View/download the role description: Role Description – SRC Marketer – Reporter Volunteer

Flexible hours and times to suit & all training will be provided.
PLUS prize draw incentives – a chance to win: iTunes vouchers, cinema vouchers, costa vouchers & high street vouchers! All this plus an end of event ‘volunteer party’ to say “Thank You!”

Reading Agency Summer Challenge. Deptford Libray, London

Reading Agency Summer Challenge.
Deptford Libray, London. Photograph©Dave Warren for the Reading Agency.

Comments from last year’s volunteers when asked what were the best things about volunteering with us, included:

  • “Clear training and easy access to help when needed”
  • “Meeting some hilarious and wonderful people  Watching children’s confidence in their reading grow week by week…I felt I was actually doing something productive.”
  • “It has a lovely atmosphere, the staff are kind and helpful.  The ability to meet new people and get experience working in the library. But mostly the chance to experience new things.”
  • “Being an ex teacher I was once again able to talk/listen to children which i enjoyed so much.”
  • “Seeing the enjoyment the children had in telling me about the books they had read and promoting reading as I really enjoy it myself”

There are opportunities to volunteer across Swindon Libraries, but as an example, at our Central Library we will need SRC Volunteers to cover slots at the following times:

  • Monday-Friday 10.00 -12.00pm, 12.00 -2.00pm, 2.00 – 5.00pm
  • Sat 10.00 -12.00pm, 12.00 -2.00pm, 2.00 -3.30pm
  • Sun 11.30-2.30pm

‘Mythical maze’ runs from 19th July to 7th September 2014.
Closing date for volunteers is Friday 20th June.

For more information and to apply ask at your local library, contact our Community Development officer, Ellen Carter on 07884 264541 or e-mail:


Minotaur - copyright Sarah McIntyre for The Reading AgencyIllustrations©Sarah McIntyre for the Reading Agency

Mythical maze, Summer Reading Challenge 2014 is produced by the Reading Agency and delivered by Libraries.

The Reading Agency is an independent charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. It is funded by the Arts Council, and has a formal partnership with public library services.

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge 2014 including how to get involved and resources for schools, go to
Follow the Summer Reading Challenge on Facebook: .