Time is pressures and there never seem to be enough, but we need people who are able to spare a few hours per month or just as a one off. And here is how you can get involved:
In the UK we have a huge variety of volunteer opportunities suitable for all ages and abilities. Some of our volunteers seek out the hands-on manual tasks, often working in small groups – our Saturday Clubbers, while others like to stay at home and work on our arts and crafts or gift bags. Our youngest volunteer is 4 years old, while the eldest is nearing her 92nd birthday. For more detailed information email me and I will send you our Information for Volunteers handbook.
Here is a quick summary of what we offer and who we are looking for:
Sorting, Cataloguing and Packing Books
As a group activity our Saturday Clubbers meet the first Saturday every month at Dollimore and Christie, SG4 7JY from 10am till 1pm. There is no need to let us know that you are coming, but as teas and biscuits are provided it would be great to know in advance. If you decide the organise activity is your thing you would be added to our mailing list and be informed about all the activities JBAC takes part in, but mostly about when the next packing day is.
I also pack books in a weekday and can accommodate any times. So if you are a bit more of a lone wolf or just give up your weekends we have something to suit you.
You will NOT be expected to do any heavy lifting, unless you are fit and wish to do so. If you want to lift our very small boxes you will be given a quick training.
This activity is suitable for all ages, but some degree of fitness is expected. The packing is done mainly standing up and is somewhat physically demanding. The activity is also suitable for younger volunteers, but they will have to be accompanied by their parents, groups leaders or guardians.
Arts & Crafts Boxes
A big part of our Kenyan children’s engagement is through simple art activities. The activities must be pretty straight forward and some careful thought must be given to the availability and cost of the material. You would be tasks with either designing an activity or helping to prepare the activity – mainly cutting out shapes.
This is a home-based activity and we like to engage younger children to help us develop activities that children without prior experience can engage in. We also work with the Duke of Edinburgh participants.
One way we entice adults to enter the very daunting yet colourful world of books is by giving them a home-made cotton bag containing a book and perhaps a pencil or two. It just depends what we have to give.
Your task would be to make the bags. Some people make them by hand, but most use their sewing machines. Volunteers reuse their own material, but we can source the fabric for you if you need us to.
You can organise your own thing or take part in our events. We have all the forms you may need. It doesn’t matter what you propose to do, how fit or old you are, anyone is welcome.
Item Collector & Promoter
You can organise your friends, family, groups you are involved in, school, or colleagues and collect books and other items that we need. You would then need to deliver them to Dollimores or contact me to organise a handover.
You could also take the opportunity to hand out leaflets, talk to groups or just talk to anyone about us. We will provide all the information you need.
If you live in Hertforshire are able to donate a few hours of your time, please contact us.
Once every year we need help loading up our Kenya bound container. This typically happens in May or June. It is a fast paced and hard work, and you will need to be fit, a bit. But you can stay as long as you like and take as many breaks as you need. We have 3 hours to complete the task, but have much fun over sandwiches, teas and cakes.
This is the only opportunity not suitable for the under 18s. Sorry.
Now, you can help in Kenya too if you like.
Having people to listen to children read at our libraries in Kenya is very motivational for the children, and helps them tremendously. Can you help us make a difference by volunteering to do this? Ann helps us in Dzunga, and her inspirational story can be found here.