The Reader Vacancy – Volunteer Co-ordinator

Based at: North Wales team base, TBC in Conwy or Gwynedd

Reports To: Team Leader

Salary: £17,000 – £22,000

Hours: 35 hours per week, 30 days annual leave

Duration: Fixed Term to March 2020

Location: North Wales: Conwy, Gwynedd, Anglesey

About The Reader

The Reader is a charitable social enterprise which brings people together over a good story to improve mental health, build resilience and create communities through their innovative outreach model Shared Reading. They work predominantly in the Health, Criminal Justice and Education sectors however they have brought Shared Reading to people of every age and background, from pre-schoolers to end of life care. Currently they deliver over 300 Shared Reading groups per week and have worked with more 25,000 people since 2012.

They have been delivering Shared Reading groups and training others in their model for over a decade, working with diverse communities in libraries, schools, care homes, recovery centres, homeless shelters, mental health wards and in prisons. Trained Reader Leaders create a safe and welcoming space where group members can feel valued, encouraged and listened to by coming together each week to read aloud a story and a poem. Group members are invited to read aloud if they choose to and share their thoughts and personal reflections on what’s been read, creating connections not only with the literature but with each other.

It may seem a simple process but Shared Reading changes lives and their ambition is to have it take root in every community in the UK so that it is freely available wherever and whoever you are.

Their head office is in Liverpool, where The Reader began, but they are building communities of Readers across the UK and beyond with teams in London, the South West, Northern Ireland and a national prison project which spans the UK, as well as a number of international partnerships in Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Australia.

About this role

They are looking for staff with a connection to literature who have the people management skills to develop relationships with partners and volunteers to ensure they get shared reading into the hands of those who need it.

This role will require you to play an important role in recruiting, supporting and training volunteers.  You will also develop and deliver a publicity plan to raise awareness of the project and build up contacts locally to set up referral routes into groups where appropriate.

Full training will be provided.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate, support, train, and mentor volunteers
  • Recruit community members to reading groups/inclusion events
  • Manage the administrative processes underpinning the project
  • Plan and deliver group shared reading sessions with identified client groups by choosing and presenting a wide range of reading material, including poetry, in order to generate free-flowing conversation
  • Develop good working relationships with project partners, prioritising referral relationships into the project
  • Take responsibility for representing The Reader in public, maintaining relationships with partner agencies and ensure that positive impacts are recorded
  • Keep up to date records and write regular project reports
  • Coordinate/Issue monitoring forms and evaluation questionnaires
  • In conjunction with their Communications team, develop publicity materials, such as leaflets and posters to promote the groups – including developing and delivering a publicity plan to raise awareness of the project
  • Keep up to date records of delivery of shared reading, and volunteers in line with organisational best practice
  • Work with the a mentor to ensure volunteers deliver a quality service
  • Be an effective team member, participating in personal and professional development
  • Attend and contribute to staff meetings, feeding back useful information
  • Other duties as designated by line manager.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Fluent in Welsh Language
  • A degree in English, or ability to demonstrate wide range of personal reading, including poetry and the ability to talk about it in an engaging manner
  • Excellent at reading aloud
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Project Management skills, or ability to co-ordinate a number of different activities and work to a specific plan
  • Experience of managing staff or volunteers
  • A good communicator with great presentation, listening and writing skills
  • Able to make and maintain appropriate relationships with external organisations
  • Able to deal with potentially distressing situations and challenging behaviours in a careful and calm manner demonstrating excellent emotional resilience
  • Able to work flexibly.
  • Self-motivated and able to work unsupervised in a peripatetic style.
  • Driving license and use of a car

 Desirable Criteria

  • Understanding and experience of The Reader’s shared reading model
  • Experience and understanding of the voluntary sector.
  • An understanding of the problems of engaging people who think books are not for them
  • Experience in delivering training

You must be willing to undergo a fully enhanced DBS check.

Training and supervision in Shared Reading and Safeguarding practice will be provided.

How to Apply

Note: Please do not just send in a CV. They will only consider applications that adhere to the following process:

Visit www.thereader.org.uk and select the ‘Get Involved’ tab where you will be able to view the full job description and download an application form. Please complete the application form and submit a covering letter, explaining how you meet the requirements of this role, to kateharrison@thereader.org.uk

Your covering letter is an opportunity for you to include any additional information which could not be explained within the application form.

Deadline for applications: 7th February 2019, 9am.

NB: applications arriving after 9am will not be considered.

 Successful applicants will be invited to interview by 5pm on 18th February. If you have not heard from them by this date, then unfortunately your application has been unsuccessful.

Role begins: As soon as possible thereafter

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