Bookmark is a tech-led literacy charity supporting disadvantaged primary school children to give them a fairer chance in life. Currently one in four children leave primary school unable to read well. These children are more likely to experience poverty, face unemployment and have a lower life expectancy. At Bookmark we want every child to read, we make this happen this through our flexible, volunteer-led programme and making sure children have access to high quality reading materials.

About the role

Eight children in the average class in the UK leave primary school unable to read well. These children will often struggle in school, and beyond. A child who cannot read well is more likely to experience poverty, face unemployment and have a lower life expectancy. As a Bookmark volunteer, you could do something incredible and change a child’s story.

You’ll help a 5-9 year-old learn to read, developing their skills and confidence. You will read together, play games, and see your reader progress, all through our secure online platform.

Our programme involves 30-minute sessions with the same child, twice a week, for six weeks. You book your programme through the Bookmark app and select sessions at times that work with your schedule.

“It was such a wonderful experience. I was very happy knowing that I was helping someone. The child really improved a lot during the 6 weeks. It was really rewarding for me to see the improvement.” — Joe, Bookmark volunteer

Why volunteer with Bookmark?

New government data shows that attainment fell further for poorer pupils this year which has widened the attainment to the largest it has been in 10 years.

As a Bookmark volunteer, you’ll help to bridge this gap. You’ll:

Help children who struggle with their reading gain essential skills at a crucial age. This will prepare them to move up the school, ready to tackle new challenges without falling further behind. Three quarters of our volunteers noticed their reader become more confident with their reading.

Make learning to read fun by bringing your own personality into the sessions and getting to know your reader’s interests. It’s amazing when you introduce a book, comic or poem for the first time that they love! 90% of teachers said that pupils enjoy reading more after our programme.

Give a child one-to-one attention and be a role model. Teachers have told us that children really benefit from this dedicated time and found it boosted their self-esteem and confidence as well as their reading. You can read more about this in our Impact Report.

Helping a child with their reading is also really fun and rewarding. Over 60% of our volunteers said their own wellbeing had improved because of volunteering with Bookmark.

Is volunteering with Bookmark right for me?

Our volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. At Bookmark we aim to make volunteering accessible to as many people as possible, so we can help more children.

Are you over 18 and currently living in the UK?

Are you passionate about literacy and its importance?

Are you able to show enthusiasm, encouragement, empathy and patience?

Can you commit to two 30-minute sessions a week, for six consecutive weeks?

Are you willing to complete at least 3 six-week programmes a year?

Can you provide two references for your application (for safeguarding reasons)?

Do you have access to a PC, laptop or Chromebook with a webcam and internet connection (iPads, phones and tablets are not compatible), and do you feel relatively comfortable using technology?