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Volunteering for the Library


Bookends Volunteer

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"My volunteer role at Eastbourne library consists of facilitating the smooth running of the bookshop by providing assistance to customers looking to buy specific books. 
I have been volunteering for several years and love the sense of purpose it gives me and it keeps me mentally and physically stimulated. Through the volunteer role my confidence has increased knowing that I can provide a helpful service to the local community." - Tanja Woodgate, Bookends Volunteer


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IT For You Volunteers


"I’m retired and I’ve been volunteering with IT for You for over two years now. I love to be able to share some of the skills I learned at work and it is so satisfying to see our customers improve their computer skills and confidence as we work with them.
We have recently started working closely with Mencap giving special computer sessions to help improve their computer skills and increase their confidence. I find these sessions particularly rewarding as I see the pleasure the participants get from learning something new that can be of real use in life."

Gabbie, an IT For You Volunteer

Gabbie, IT For You Volunteer

Peter, an IT For You Volunteer

Peter, IT For You Volunteer

"I've been a volunteer Computer Buddy with ESCC at Bexhill for a few years now. I have contact with three or four people each week in an afternoon session of up to an hour per person. Sometimes it's a five-minute spontaneous thing to point someone in the right direction for finding something on the internet on the Library computers, such as looking for a house to rent or buy, or filling in a form to apply for a new passport, driving licence or Benefit Claim but some people need more help and I have sometimes done all the typing as it may be something the customer cannot do or isn't interested in developing computer skills to achieve. At the other end of the scale, some people want to learn keyboard and computer skills and need regular sessions by appointment to use Word on the Library PC or join Facebook. Once they are confident to continue alone, I feel very happy that I have been able to introduce them to a whole new world of exploration and social contact.
Some customers can't believe I like technology so much, as many people are nervous of using their devices thinking they could damage them, or, having heard stories of scams and losses of privacy, think the internet is not to be trusted. There are dangers, but generally I have been able to reassure most people that learning about these things can be great fun and very useful and satisfying."
"I love reading so libraries have always been one of my favourite places. I also like computers so was pleased to get the opportunity to help people get to grips with their computer, laptop or tablet in a library! I enjoy the sessions both helping people and working alongside my fellow volunteers. It’s interesting meeting different people and hearing why they want to use a computer and there’s usually a few laughs along the way."

Penny, an IT For You Volunteer

Penny, IT For You Volunteer


Matthew, IT For You / Computer Buddy / Customer Assistant Volunteer

"I have been a volunteer for the library service for years, I personally have gained confidence in working with the public and developed customer service skills.
I have improved my understanding of libraries and gained more digital skills. In addition, I have had the satisfaction of supporting people in developing their I.T. skills I have also had further training that has given me more confidence, for example, I have supported a visually impaired customer and learnt about assistive technologies. It has been great to meet a variety of new people. I feel that I have made a valuable contribution to the service and community."
"I also started volunteering with IT for You at Eastbourne library, helping clients to use computers, tablets, smartphones etc. I'm not an IT person myself, and sometimes that helps because I can't use technical language to describe things. But it's good to have colleagues who are more IT-savvy; they are always happy to help out. It's great to see people getting more confident each week, and able to use the computer to do the things they want. One of the most rewarding roles has been to be part of a project set up with Mencap - to support a small group of people with learning disabilities to use the libraries' computers. Everyone seemed to get a lot out of it, working on projects that were important to them." - Phillip, IT For You Volunteer / Home Library Volunteer

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Step Into Reading Volunteers

"I feel very strongly that everyone should be able to read not only as an essential skill, but as an enriching experience.
I therefore leapt at the chance to become a reading mentor with the ‘Step into Reading’ programme. 
I was so disappointed when the pandemic halted the programme and I have missed it greatly. Not only had my learner and I built up such a great rapport but she was so keen to learn and to improve her prospects. However, I also gained greatly from the experience. I felt so humbled by the high regard that my learner held me in and I have enjoyed the experience so much. I feel that I am doing something so worthwhile and I am delighted to be back and with the same learner." 

Charmaine, a Step Into Reading Volunteer

Charmaine Hill, Step Into Reading Volunteer

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Family History Volunteers

"I volunteer at Hastings Library indexing the collection of historic photographs. They in themselves are a fascinating record of the town and its people, but as the indexing progresses I also find myself using the local street directories and the old Ordnance Survey maps. These three resources work together to provide information about the where and when of Hastings’ history. The street directories show residents and businesses in the town and often include detailed illustrations of premises in the advertising pages; the maps show where things were. One could happily spend hours poring over them. They are invaluable resources for local and family historians, real physical objects, rather than online sources." - Kathy Flowerdew, Hastings Local History Volunteer
"I have been working at Seaford Library as a local studies volunteer since the new building opened. My main task has been the cataloguing of the Library’s extensive records, mainly press cuttings, but including photographs, postcards, other documents and written records going back three centuries. So far I’ve entered some 10,000 records on computer spreadsheets I helped to develop. The catalogue enables us to provide information requested to local researchers and we’ve helped a number of people in this way.

It’s been fascinating work and has helped me to understand Seaford’s long and varied history." - Chris Goode, Seaford Local History Volunteer
"I joined East Sussex Libraries as a family history volunteer because I wanted to share the experience I'd gained by writing a book 'Lionel Morris and the Red Baron’ based on one of the stories in my own family. I was constantly fascinated and moved by the discoveries I was able help library visitors make. It's a great privilege to be allowed to share someone else's intimate family revelations and if you're curious about history, I'd recommend volunteering as a great way to connect with members of your community." - Jill Bush, Seaford Family History Volunteer
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Rhymetime & Storytime Volunteers


"It was August 2019 when I first saw the flyer for a Rhyme Time Volunteer at our local Library in Peacehaven.  My 6-year-old daughter had been set a summer reading project and we got to talking to the lovely ladies behind the desk.  It made me feel sad that they were unable to run the group as they didn't have a volunteer.  I use to attend when my daughter was little and I loved knowing that I had the group to look forward to on a Friday.  I was very new to Peacehaven when I had my daughter and didn't know many people at all.  The group was always very welcoming and it was a free.  Attending each Friday felt like a real achievement, it's not easy with a new-born and not knowing anyone but my daughter and I loved it and I would feel really positive after attending.  Sometimes my Mum would come with us too when she visited and she still has such fond memories of going too."

Annie, a Rhymetime Volunteer

Annie Harper, Peacehaven Rhymetime Volunteer

"I had never done any volunteering before but knowing how important this free group was to me in the early stages of motherhood, I felt like I needed to step up and support them.  I was extremely nervous; I can sing but I'm not an expert but I went for it anyway.  I can honestly say, it was one of the best decisions I had ever made.  I was extremely well supported by all involved and have made some really lovely friends at the library. 

I started my group in September 2019 and it ran through to February 2020.  Each week I would get there at least 30 minutes before the start time to set up my little area.  I would make sure there was plenty of space for buggies, lots of seating and a floor space for the little ones.  I always made sure everyone received a warm welcome and that they knew this was a relaxed space and not to worry it any children started crying or moving around as that's life!  I would then have a set list of the nursey rhymes I would be doing that week and each song would have some fun actions to get everyone interacting.  My favourite is 'The Grand Old Duke of York', the little ones would know I love to get up and do some marching on the spot and sometimes we would speed the song up and that would make everyone laugh out loud.

I really enjoyed growing the group and getting to know everyone and seeing people coming out of themselves and making friends.  Singing and dancing with the babies & toddlers each week and seeing their little smiles, would bring me so much joy.  I'm so happy that I can give back to my community that helped me when I needed it.

I'm so looking forward to returning to our Rhyme Time group when we can." 
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Home Library Volunteers

"I first started volunteering with the library service as a home library volunteer - selecting, delivering and returning books for people who can't get to a library themselves. I knew from my work with older people how important it is for people to find ways of continuing with their hobbies and pastimes if getting out and about becomes more difficult. I could also fit this volunteering around other commitments I had. I've got to meet some lovely people, who I wouldn't otherwise have come across. In chatting about the books they like (and those they don't!) I've heard some very interesting stories about the lives they have led - things you would never guess." - Philip, Home Library Volunteer / IT For You Volunteer
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3VA is an organisation that empowers, supports and develops social and voluntary action in the three districts of Wealden, Eastbourne and Lewes in East Sussex. In their work, they support and develop local voluntary groups and organisations in these three districts that do so much to strengthen and build resilience in our communities and are proud to be part of a national movement of social and voluntary action.

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