Doorstep Library is a children’s literacy charity working in disadvantaged areas across London. Our volunteers visit families at their homes to read a story with the children, lend books, and offer family support. Seeing the same children each week really builds confidence and fosters a love of reading for pleasure, which also encourages families to share this experience together.
Doorstep Library is a literacy charity that believes in the power of words to take children places, not just in their imagination, but in their lives. We want to see a world where all children can thrive in homes in which books are celebrated and a love of reading is embraced. With one in four 11 year olds leaving primary school unable to read or write properly, we recruit and train volunteers to go into some of the most disadvantaged areas in London to help introduce young children (aged 0-11 years) to the pleasure of reading. Other literacy charities get books into homes; Doorstep Library’s unique home-based service means we are there in person, finding the most appropriate books for every child we visit, and building a relationship with the whole family.
Armed with a backpack full of books and two little stools, Doorstep Library volunteers visit the same 5 families every week to share their love of reading with pre-school and primary school aged children. Doorstep Library volunteers don’t just read stories though. They do the silly voices, hand pick the books, and give special recommendations. By making it fun first, we inspire children to experience the joy of stories and books, and transform them into budding readers.
By really getting to know the families, week after week, we empower parents to get stuck into the sessions too and encourage them to get involved in their children’s education. Sometimes though, we’re just there to give a bit of extra support, whether we’re passing on info about a family activity, lending an ear, or even just being a friendly face. Then, before we go, we leave behind a selection of books for each child to borrow for the week.
We currently operate in the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and Lambeth. If you are a primary school or an Early Years setting within these boroughs, we would welcome referrals from you. (Please note, in Lambeth we are focussed on Early Years so can only accept referrals of 0-2 year olds, and will continue to see them until they are 4.)