A new volunteer will be helping youngsters taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library thanks to a partnership with the Assist Trust.
Ellen Wharam will be visiting the library at The Forum, Norwich, every Wednesday to help youngsters completing the reading challenge throughout the school holidays.
Ellen is supported by the Assist Trust, based in Norwich, which provides transition and progression services for adults with learning disabilities.
And as a keen reader herself, it was the perfect role to help Ellen gain more independence.
Julie Harrold, who works in the Supported Employment team at Assist, said: “Ellen loves reading and always has her head in a book. She loves history and war-time stories.
“She will be helping out once a week for an hour in the children’s library during the summer holidays. This is a really nice environment for Ellen because she loves reading so if we can extend it further after the holidays and find somewhere else for her to help in the library then it would definitely benefit her.”
The Summer Reading Challenge is a free initiative that encourages youngsters to read six library books of their choice throughout the holidays, collecting rewards along the way.
Ellen, 34, is now in her second week of volunteering and said: “I’ve been putting the books on the shelves in order using the alphabet and the author’s name. And I put out the books on the promotion stand that I thought children would like.
“I want to encourage children to read and join the Summer Reading Challenge. I will be greeting them to ask them if they have joined yet or asking them if they would like to.”
Julie will spend the first few weeks helping Ellen travel to the library, and once she has learnt the route she will walk to The Forum on her own.
Katherine Osborne, Volunteer Co-ordinator at the library, said: “The staff in the children’s library have been supporting Ellen to come in each Wednesday to help out as one of our Summer Reading Challenge volunteers.
“Ellen has a real interest in libraries and reading so offering her a placement was a pleasure as she was really keen to get involved. Hopefully after the summer we will be able to find another role which will mean she can keep volunteering with us if she wishes to do so.”
The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Space Chase and children can still take part by dropping into the library to pick up a pack.