Online Reading Volunteer


Register your Interest

About Bookmark

Bookmark exists to change children’s life stories through the joy of reading. We partner with schools to develop whole school reading cultures and to provide one-to-one reading support. For the children who need us, we’re changing their story.   

About the Role
Each year, one in four children leave primary school unable to read well and disadvantaged children are disproportionately affected. Struggling to read can contribute to poor educational attainment, lower literacy in adulthood and has even been linked to a lower life expectancy.
Bookmark volunteers spend one hour a week reading stories and playing games with a child aged between five and ten years old, on our secure online platform. The programme involves two 30-minute sessions a week with the same child, for six weeks. You book your programme through the Bookmark Volunteer Hub and select sessions at times that work with your schedule.


Our volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. At Bookmark we aim to make volunteering accessible to as many people as possible, so we can help more children.

  • Are you over 18 and currently living in the UK?
  • Are you passionate about literacy and its importance?
  • Are you able to show enthusiasm, encouragement, empathy and patience?
  • Can you commit to two 30-minute sessions a week, for six consecutive weeks?
  • Are you willing to complete at least 3 six-week programmes a year?
  • Can you provide two references for your application (for safeguarding reasons)?
  • Do you have access to a PC, laptop or Chromebook with a webcam and internet connection (iPads, phones and/or tablets are not compatible but still required to book a programme), and do you feel relatively comfortable using technology?

If NO, then you can still apply to be to volunteer on our face-to-face programmes in certain locations.


Why volunteer with Bookmark? 

New government data shows that attainment fell further for poorer pupils this year which has widened the attainment to the largest it has been in 10 years  

As a Bookmark volunteer, you’ll help to bridge this gap. You’ll: 

  • Help children who struggle with their reading gain essential skills at a crucial age. This will prepare them to move up the school, ready to tackle new challenges without falling further behind. Three quarters of our volunteers noticed their reader become more confident with their reading. 
  • Make learning to read fun by bringing your own personality into the sessions and getting to know your reader’s interests. It’s amazing when you introduce a book, comic or poem for the first time that they love! 90% of teachers said that pupils enjoy reading more after our programme. 
  • Give a child one-to-one attention and be a role model. Teachers have told us that children really benefit from this dedicated time and found it boosted their self-esteem and confidence as well as their reading. You can read more about this in our Impact Report. 

Helping a child with their reading is also really fun and rewarding. Over 60% of our volunteers said their own wellbeing had improved because of volunteering with Bookmark. 

Practical Considerations

When do I need to be available?

Morning Afternoon Evening

Register your Interest

  • Details
  • Disabled Access
  • Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
  • Expenses
  • Health and Safety
  • Induction
    Online training and ongoing support provided
  • Insurance Cover for Volunteers
  • Other
  • Suitable for 13 - 16 years
  • Suitable for 16 - 18 years
  • Suitable for a group of volunteers
  • Suitable only for (e.g. 18+, LGBT, BAME, Women only)
  • Support on Offer
  • This role is adaptable for different abilities
  • Training
    Online training and ongoing support provided