We rely on our amazing volunteer Literacy Champions to support literacy in their local areas, and the volunteers in Nottingham have been going above and beyond!
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic it was evident that the initiative in our Read on Nottingham Hub was very successful at engaging volunteers. In autumn 2021 we collaborated with local partner Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC) to explore the success in Nottingham and understand the key factors that contribute to the engagement of volunteers and the lessons we can learn from these.
Read the full report: Literacy Champions in Nottingham: What Explains their Strong Engagement?
In collaboration with SSBC, we interviewed 11 Read On Nottingham Literacy Champions and heard why they love to volunteer. This resulted in four key factors being identified that supported volunteers’ engagement:
- Personal motivations, skills and interests
- Support and resources
- Flexibility of volunteering
- Strong focus on community
One volunteer felt especially encouraged by the feedback of the community and loved to use their knowledge and skills to help others:
“So to me, it was making that small bit of difference and giving back to the community, using the knowledge I’ve got just to share it. And if it’s even going to benefit one person … to me, I’ve done my job.”
Another volunteer loved the support and the flexibility that came with volunteering:
“When we went digital, we sort of touched base to make sure that we were all comfortable with what we were doing and just letting us know that we didn’t have to try and overstretch ourselves if we weren’t feeling up to it. I thought that was really encouraging.”
This research in Nottingham has allowed us to understand four important lessons we hope to implement and sustain across all of our Hubs working with volunteers:
- Foster personal motivations, skills and interests
- Continue to provide high quality support and resources
- Maintain and increase the flexibility of volunteering
- Focus on and strengthen the community aspect
We are so grateful for our Literacy Champions in Nottingham, and hope to continue this successful time of growth and giving.
To find out more key factors that contribute to the engagement of volunteers you can read the full report here.