While some people volunteer because they want to learn new skills, make friends or find a route back into work, others do it purely for the pleasure of making others smile.
In the fourth of a series of case studies on the people who volunteer to help in libraries across the county, Christine Court from Hythe shares her experience:
For Christine, watching a group of youngsters in the nearby park flying the kites they had just made in a library craft session was all the ‘payment’ she needed.
The Hythe Library volunteer helps plan and run a craft session for pre-school youngsters on the first Thursday of each month, working alongside fellow volunteer – now friend – Anna Kibble.
While the session only lasts a couple of hours, the preparation that goes into making it a fun-filled, educational activity for the children takes much more time, but Christine loves every minute of it.
After working for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for 20 years, Christine moved to France for a time, and when she returned she looked for something to keep her busy. Spotting a poster appealing for library volunteers, she signed up in 2010 – and has never looked back.
“I was just looking for something to get involved with, but I found myself part of a lovely team of people doing something really rewarding,” she recalled. “Since signing up as a volunteer I have also had the chance to do some paid sessional work.”
Volunteering also helps Christine feel part of the community, and she also likes the fact that children have to come in to the library to register for activities such as Kent Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge.
“Their parents can’t do it for them,” she said. “They have to come in, and that’s important because it introduces the youngsters to the library and to all these wonderful, inspirational books.”
Christine believes she and her fellow volunteers do a vital job that full-time library staff simply don’t have the time to do. “Anna and I spend hours researching the theme for the next craft session, preparing the materials and then making sure the children have a fun time,” she explained.
“The children are inspirational, the team makes working here special and I would recommend volunteering to anyone.”
While she loves every aspect of working with the children, it is the kite-flying episode that particularly sticks in Christine’s mind. “We spent the session making kites with a group of children,” she recalled. “As soon as the session ended they dashed outside with their parents and went straight to the park next door to fly them. It was magical.”
If you think you might like to join the happy band of library volunteers give us a call on 01732 749420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Christine Court - Favourite author/book: Rachel Hore; Kate Mosse - Sepulchre.
The children are inspirational, the team makes working here special and I would recommend volunteering to anyone."Christine Court