Skip to content

We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website.

For more information about the types of cookies we use, and to manage your preferences, visit our Cookies policy here.

Cookie settings

Volunteering: frequently asked questions

If you have questions about being a Literacy Champion, you’ll hopefully find the answer below.

If you have any further questions, please do contact us at

Becoming a Literacy Champion

Who can become a Literacy Champion?

Anyone over the age of 18 can become a Literacy Champion. You don’t need any specific training or qualifications to become a Literacy Champion, you just need to be self-motivated, passionate about helping your local community, and have strong people skills.

Can I still be a Literacy Champion if I’m not very good at reading or writing?

Of course. Being a Literacy Champion is about empowering and supporting those around you on their literacy journey and maybe even sharing your own. There are a range of things you can do as a Literacy Champion, like sharing National Literacy Trust posts on social media, or organising a book swap.

How much time do I need to commit to being a Literacy Champion?

You can commit as little or as much time as you like. Your activities will be self-led, which means that you only need to get involved as much as you feel you are capable.

Can I volunteer as part of a group or with family and friends?

Of course! Encourage your friends or family to register as Literacy Champions too using our sign up form. You can then use our guidance documents to organise activities together.

My company encourages me to volunteer. Can you help?

Our Activity Guide for Literacy Champions offers a range of ideas and inspiration which can be implemented in the workplace. Alternatively, visit our Corporate Support page too see how your company can support the work of the National Literacy Trust.

Do I need to get a DBS check?

For safeguarding reasons, Literacy Champion activity must not involve contact – in person or online – with children, young people or vulnerable adults who you don’t already work with or care for.

If you have any questions about this, please contact our team at Please refer to the Safeguarding section of your Literacy Champion Handbook for more details.

If you become a supported volunteer working directly with our local programmes, you will be subject to a DBS check if you are volunteering regularly with children, young people or vulnerable adults. The DBS check will be organised by our local team.

I’ve got a criminal record – can I still volunteer?

Yes, you can. Having a criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from volunteering, however your volunteering role will depend on the type of offence and its relevance. You should follow the guidance in the Literacy Champion Handbook you receive after sign-up.

What happens after I sign up to become a Literacy Champion?

Once you have signed up to become a Literacy Champion using our sign up form, you will receive a Handbook and Activity Guide. If you haven’t received this, please check your junk and spam folders.

We’ll also send you our monthly newsletter, which will offer advice and support, celebrate the different activities being hosted by Literacy Champions across the country, and include information about key moments for the National Literacy Trust.

The National Literacy Trust also has a dedicated focus on improving literacy skills in several specific local areas across the UK through its Hubs. If you are based in or near to one of these areas, you may be contacted by a local National Literacy Trust Manager to discuss further volunteering opportunities.

Being a Literacy Champion

How do I find out about other Literacy Champions doing the same role as me?

We will be sharing news and updates in our monthly newsletter, as well as featuring some of our Literacy Champions on our website. Once you’ve signed up to become a Literacy Champion, we’ll add you to our mailing list, where you can find out how others across the country are supporting their local community. You can also check out the hashtag #LiteracyChampions to see what other Literacy Champions are posting on their social media.

Can the National Literacy Trust support my activity on social media?

We can’t promise that we’ll be able to share everything we’re tagged in on social media, but we always want to see how people are getting involved with promoting literacy in their community! We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Can I blog/write about my experience as a Literacy Champion?

You are welcome to share your experience on your own social media channels, which may include a personal blog. However, if you would like to submit a write-up for our website or monthly newsletter for consideration, please email

Can I use the National Literacy Trust logo?

Please do not use the National Literacy Trust logo in any materials you have created to promote your activity. You should not imply that the National Literacy Trust endorses or approves of any activities you plan as a Literacy Champion in your own community.

Can I claim expenses?

We do not reimburse expenses for self-led Literacy Champions volunteering outside of our local programmes and events organised by the National Literacy Trust.

I have forgotten which email I used to sign up to become a Literacy Champion, what do I do?

Please email us at with your full name and postcode. We’ll reply letting you know which email you have signed up with.

Can I change my mind about becoming a Literacy Champion?

Of course. Just let us know by sending an email to


Does being a Literacy Champion mean I have to fundraise for you?

Not at all. Whilst we gratefully accept individual donations, being a Literacy Champion is about encouraging the people around you to develop their literacy skills and raising awareness of the importance of literacy.

I want to fundraise for the National Literacy Trust, but I'm not sure what to do. How can I get involved?

To find some of the fun and impactful ways you can support us, please visit our fundraising webpage. There you’ll find ideas, guides and inspiration to support your fundraising plans. If you have any questions about fundraising for the National Literacy Trust, please do contact us.

National Literacy Trust Hubs and programmes

What is a supported Literacy Champion?

As a Literacy Champion, your activity is self-led, with no direct involvement from the National Literacy Trust.

Some Literacy Champions may be asked to work alongside National Literacy Trust Hub or Programme Teams. They are supported volunteers who have been given specific training to deliver particular activity. Such activity should only by delivered by trained supported volunteers alongside National Literacy Trust staff.

Can I volunteer with a local National Literacy Trust Hub?

When you sign up as a Literacy Champion, we will ask where your community is based. If you live in one of our Hub areas, we will pass your details onto the Hub Manager for consideration. If there are volunteering opportunities available, they will get in touch using the details you provided when you signed up.

Is there a National Literacy Trust Hub near me?

You can find out about the different regions we support on our Communities page. These locations have been identified as areas where low levels of literacy are significantly impacting on people’s lives.

There’s a National Literacy Trust Hub near me, but I haven’t heard from them about further volunteering opportunities.

There could be a few reasons you haven’t heard from your local Hub Manager yet. They may not currently be recruiting for volunteers, you might be outside the Hub’s key volunteering areas, or they may be planning to contact new sign-ups at a point in the near future.

Safety and safeguarding

How can I report a safeguarding issue?

In an emergency, please dial 999.

We take safeguarding very seriously and our self-led Literacy Champions should not plan activities with children or vulnerable adults they do not already work with or care for.

Literacy Champions who work with children and vulnerable people as part of official National Literacy Trust ‘Hubs’ will have valid DBS certificates and be able to provide identification when required.

If any Literacy Champion activity appears suspicious or concerning, please let us know immediately by emailing

You can find more information about our safeguarding policy here.

How do I make sure my activity is safe and legal?

You are responsible for ensuring the activities you organise are safe. Follow the policy of the organisation you’re working with, if applicable, or the professional advice of staff supervising any facilities or buildings you’re using.


How can I give/receive feedback? Can I make a complaint?

No one is better placed to help improve the experience of volunteering than you. Please email our team at with any questions or feedback. If you wish to make a complaint, you can use our complaints policy at

Back to top