Share your love of reading in Paddington this National Storytelling Week

Once upon a time. Four simple words that immediately transport you on exciting adventures to new lands, tales of good and evil, mystery and magic. Through our work supporting schools and community partners, the Community Programme endeavours to foster a love and enjoyment of reading and we want you to get involved this National Storytelling Week.

Whether you enjoy getting lost in worlds of wizardry and witchcraft, fairies and magic; relish soaking up facts about the universe and how things work, like to keep up to date with world events and political commentary or prefer poetry; there are plenty of ways you can share the wonder of words with others as a volunteer through the Paddington Community Programme.

Schools reading partner: Visit a local primary school for just 30 minutes each week or fortnight. You will be matched with one or two pupils with whom you will read each time you visit, meaning you will quickly build a relationship.

We’re delighted to have placed 18 employee volunteers in local schools as reading partners already in 2018, but there are many more children who need support. They may not speak English as a first language, perhaps don’t get read to frequently at home, struggle with comprehension or simply need their confidence with books boosted.

Our latest cohort of reading volunteers meet their children for the first time.

Support a family with reading: This is all about having fun with stories in the homes of families living in disadvantaged areas of the local community. Equipped with a backpack full of books and two little stools, you will inspire children and their parents to enjoy reading and sharing stories together. By visiting the same families each week you build relationships, instil confidence and spread the magic of reading.

Elderly befriender: Whatever our age, being read to is such a treat. Help provide companionship and reduce loneliness through visiting a local elderly resident and spending time reading to them. It could be a snippet from the paper, a column from a magazine, an old poem or chapter from their favourite book.

Run a book club: A local charity supporting homeless and vulnerable women is looking for a volunteer (or a small team) to run a monthly book group. This would include supporting women for whom English is not a first language, sourcing books and planning and leading the sessions - encouraging discussion and enthusiasm for reading.

Contact Emily, the Community Programme Manager, for further information about how you can become a reading volunteer in Paddington.