Sending thanks to all our volunteers

Volunteers’ Week, which is 1-7 June this year, is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

As a service we value the contribution our volunteers make, whether they’re teaching children how to code, selecting and delivering books to a Home Library Service customer, helping customers feel comfortable in our branches or supporting children’s reading though the Summer Reading Challenge.

We’re also proud to be able to offer a broad range of volunteering opportunities that are flexible and accessible, with options for students under the age of 16 who are volunteering to complete a Duke of Edinburgh Award too.

Research has proved that regular volunteering can also support wellbeing – providing opportunities to connect with other people, be physically active, keep learning and give to others – which is why we proudly display the five ways to wellbeing logo on our volunteering web page.

Whilst this week is about celebrating everyone who volunteers, we are grateful to the following volunteers, who shared a little more information on their experience of volunteering with our service:

Pat H – Home Library Service Volunteer
Pat N, Home Library Service & branch volunteer

Pat H

Pat H has been volunteering for the library service since 1989. Pat is a Home Library Service Volunteer (HLS), whose role includes choosing, delivering, and returning books, in this case audio books or Story Tapes to her customer. 

Pat told us: ‘I like to get to know my customer through our chats, getting a better understanding of what makes them tick and what they might prefer to read and, in some cases, introducing new authors. I have always been a reader and used libraries so thought volunteering would be a good way to help others.

I love chatting to my customers and over the many years I have been doing this a lot of them became friends, which was and is, a bonus. I remember one of my ladies who lived alone and could no longer get out and about because of mobility issues.  She always insisted I had a cup of tea and biscuit with her. A tray was always laid ready for me with a lovely china cup, saucer and matching plate, it somehow made me feel extra special!

I believe the Home Library Service is a very worthwhile service, it only takes an hour or so about once a month, but you can make such a difference to somebody. My top-tip for anyone considering signing up to be an HLS volunteer is my little book in which I record the books I choose for them so as not to take them again; I also record any they have hated or any requests!’

Pat N

Pat N joined the Home Library Service and Reading Friends scheme as a volunteer during Covid.  She also volunteers in the library at New Milton.

Pat told us: ‘I volunteer in New Milton library one morning a week which involves shelf filling and organising books, preparing crafts for children’s activities, which I particularly enjoy, and occasionally helping with events such as the summer reading challenge as well as other general duties.

For the HLS I select, collect, and deliver reading material in all forms, books, audiobooks and digital downloads, for up to five customers. I enjoy browsing the library catalogue to select suitable books and I love the enthusiasm and the joy receiving their monthly delivery brings to the readers.

Until recently I also had a monthly call with a very elderly lady as part of the reading Befriender scheme (Reading Friends). Although we didn’t talk much about the books the lady had read, as she claimed she couldn’t remember them, we covered lots of topics and always had a good laugh on the call. I found talking to this lady particularly inspiring.

The customers I have met have become friends, sharing their personal history and experiences. Their appreciation of the service is genuine and whilst selecting for them it has opened my mind to reading genres of books I would not have previously considered. If you enjoy reading and meeting people, it’s a very rewarding service to be part of.’

For more information on volunteering and the Home Library Service please visit our website. We are currently recruiting volunteers to help support the Summer Reading Challenge – a national scheme to support children’s literacy throughout the school summer holidays.

Finally don’t miss our Pride Month blog post from Chandler’s Ford Library volunteer Ren too.

National Coding Week

16 – 22 September 2019

“National Coding Week is a volunteer-led organisation founded in 2014. It aims to help build people’s confidence and skills by encouraging volunteers to run fun and engaging digital events.”

Code Club was founded in 2012 to assist children with learning coding skills with free after school clubs. In these clubs children learn to create games, animations, and web pages using Scratch, Python, or HTML/CSS.

Code Clubs in Libraries

Did you know most Hampshire libraries hold their own Code Clubs for your children? These are fun sessions for children to create their own interactive games and animations. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet other children of a similar age and learn new skills. To find out where and when sessions are held near you, pop into your local library or send them a message through their Facebook page.

What Code Club books are available in Hampshires libraries?

If you want Books about Coding, there are plenty available on the library catalogue.

Coding in Scratch for Beginners – Rachel Ziter, An Unofficial Guide to Coding with Minecraft – Avaro Scrivano, Webpage Design – Clive Gifford


Have you heard of a Micro:bit? These are pocket size computers that you can borrow from your library for free! If you would like to give it a try, have a look where you can borrow a Micro:bit from.

Volunteering at Code Club

Would you like to volunteer to help at a Code Club at your local library? Our code clubs have proven very popular and we’re thrilled to be able to offer these sessions to children, something that wouldn’t be possible without our lovely volunteers. We’re always looking for more volunteers; volunteers who know one or more coding program, who like working with children and who are not only friendly, but patient too. If this sounds like you, why not volunteer with Code Club by heading over to this website?

We spoke to one of our Code Club volunteers and this is what they had to say:

  • What do you find rewarding about volunteering for code club?

I like sharing my enthusiasm for computing with the younger generation – basically its an excuse to be a kid again and have fun ! 

  • What made you want to volunteer in the first place?

Initially to encourage my own two daughters to get into coding but after starting as a volunteer and getting to know the children that attended I began to feel a real sense of guardianship and responsibility towards their own coding journeys . Their progress encourages you to share with them the knowledge that will help them reach the next level (without losing too many lives or turtles 🐢 !) The code club curiosity door is always open – try it and see what happens! 

  • Why should others volunteer?

A sense of community, the feel good factor ! It’s sociable and there is never a dull moment as the children get to know you and each other and can share jokes and take part in healthy competition !

  • What have you learnt since starting their volunteering?

How to run the coding club in a style that suits us as volunteers (plays towards our strengths) and how to use the tools and projects provided by the code club organisation. I have learnt also that there are some great kids in Totton who are funny and smart and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to teach them a bit about coding 🙂 

Ringwood Library Code Club donation

Ringwood Library were recently given an extremely generous donation towards their Code Club. Here’s what they had to say: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rotary Club of Ringwood very kindly donated a significant sum of money to enable us to purchase our own Code Club computers. Members of the Rotary Club and our Mayor Tony Ring visited us to see the new computers in use by our keen, young coders. It gave us an opportunity to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to them for their incredible support”.