Volunteers' Week: 1 - 7 June 2023

May 26 2023

Volunteer's Week Get involved. Teal background with purple and red stars. Circles with different cartoon characters.

Volunteers are always active at the heart of every UK community. So, we’re taking the time during Volunteers’ Week (1 - 7 June) to celebrate and recognise their efforts and all they contribute to our local communities.

Across our whole service our volunteers give back nearly 700 hours to their communities every week. Whether they support someone who uses the Home Library Service, help with the Summer Reading Challenge or volunteer to run a Rhymetime or Chat About session they all help to make our libraries warm and welcoming places.

We believe it’s important that our volunteers benefit from the time they give to our service and customers. Volunteering with the library service can help people build confidence, get some work experience, meet people, make friends, or just do something meaningful with their spare time.

Young people can start volunteering from the age of 14 and many enjoy supporting the annual Summer Reading Challenge. One of our younger volunteers recently shared that volunteering at the library has helped his mental health. He compared the feeling he gets from helping in the library with the same exhilaration he experiences after going to the gym.

Every autumn, after the Summer Reading Challenge has finished, we host our celebration events to thank our volunteers. As well as giving us an opportunity to thank our volunteers these events are a chance for volunteers to make contact and share their experiences too.  In Winchester this has led to two volunteers, one older and one younger, who first met at the celebration event, arranging to run joint story times together in the library.

The volunteers who support our Home Library Service make a commitment to people who are unable to visit the library themselves in their community. With the support of our Home Library Service team, they meet their customers and learn more about them – this helps them choose items their customers will enjoy.

Home Library Service volunteers often arrange to spend some time with their customers when they drop off the books – this can lead to a rewarding friendship as this volunteer explains:

‘They are both such interesting positive people and we tend to chat for about an hour and discuss books and life and the universe! It flies by and it's such a pleasure.’ 

Diveda has been volunteering with Totton library for almost 2 years.

‘’I never thought I could volunteer at a library, but here I am. I have an ongoing illness and my motivation was very low, lots of hospital visits and then I came to the library and spoke to Ankica, library Volunteer co-ordinator. She is really a lovely person as is everyone at Totton library. I have volunteered for about a year and then got ill again so I had to leave. Once I got better, I was back volunteering. The library environment is so warm and friendly, and the staff make you feel as part of the team, and always asking if you are well. The Manager, Nicky, does give a very good hug. This volunteering has helped my mindset and I have found lots of friends. The best, Diveda.’


Maria volunteers for the Andover Library Community Connections group every Saturday morning. She also arranged Christmas and Easter parties for sanctuary seekers. Maria has recently started volunteering for the Chat About group every Monday morning with numbers increasing weekly.


For more information about the volunteering opportunities in our libraries please visit our volunteering page.