Residents given the chance to lend a hand

Below is a press release sent out earlier today.

Residents given the chance to lend a hand

Dozens of would-be helpers have come forward to offer some of their spare time to join the borough’s library volunteers scheme.

Barnet Council has so far received 35 formal applications from people wanting to take part in the initiative, ten of whom are already working as volunteers in libraries.

These include supporting staff delivering early years literacy Story and Rhyme sessions for under fives; support for IT sessions aimed at providing one-to-one computer coaching and helping at an after school homework club for children aged eight or over at Chipping Barnet Library.

A second wave of volunteering opportunities were released last week, with the council looking to recruit as many as 60 volunteers in total by the end of September.

Before applying, would-be volunteers are able to register with Volunteer Centre Barnet, part of CommUNITY Barnet, allowing the organisation to match people’s individual skills with the volunteering opportunities available.

So far the organisation has received more than 100 expressions of interest.

As part of the application process potential volunteers are interviewed and undergo CRB and reference checks.

The ten people already volunteering are helping with a range of activities and initiatives in the borough’s libraries.

In particular the council is looking at how the volunteer programme can support additional children’s activities at the new interim library at Tally Ho Corner.

For more information on becoming a library volunteer visit http://www.barnet.gov.uk/volunteer, email lendahand@barnet.gov.uk or call Hannah Richens on 020 8359 7779.

Councillor Robert Rams, Cabinet Member for Customer Access and Partnerships, said: “We’re looking at a wide range of opportunities for volunteers to work with children and adults to support literacy across the borough.

“Becoming a library volunteer is a fantastic opportunity for people to make a contribution to the wider community by giving up a little of their spare time.

“For those volunteering it’s also a great chance for them to meet new people and gain a range of new skills.”

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