‘Practised imagination is actually more useful than all that laboriously acquired knowledge’

Shaun Tan

Based: Calderstones Park, Liverpool L18

Salary: £7.50 per hour

Reporting to: Calderstones Operations Manager

Duration: until 4th September 2017

About The Reader:

‘I’ve never finished a book before but that was dyno! Can we read the next one?’

We are a leading UK social enterprise and have been growing consistently since we formed as a company in 2008, with a national and international remit that develops innovative shared reading-aloud groups in diverse communities across society.  Head office is in our home city of Liverpool but we have teams in London, the North East, the South West, Scotland Wales, as well as a national prisons project in 6 locations, and a number of international connections.

We read with all kinds of people, thousands of them, helping them find the guiding hand that is waiting in literature, providing meaning, social connection and personal insight. We believe that literature is a force for social good that can be used to build community and enhance lives, reduce social isolation and help people to maximise their potential. Our work encourages people of all ages and backgrounds, in whatever life situation they find themselves, to become readers, to extend their reading habits, and to share their reading experiences with others.

The Reader works with over 5,000 people through 370 weekly groups, events and activities; from pre-schoolers to people at the end of life, and across a number of different sectors, including, but not limited to the Education, Criminal Justice and Mental Health Sectors.

Our Beliefs and Values:

Our beliefs and values shape our culture and guide us in our work both internally and externally. These are principles that we hope will help everyone who works for us, everyone who works with us and everyone with whom we read understand who we are, what we stand for and how we do things.

It’s really important that we recruit people who feel they can work in accordance with these values:

Great literature is at our heart 

We read to lead

We are kind but bold

We respect individuality but work as a team

We value innovation and find ways to live with change

We have strong boundaries and are well supported

We celebrate success but learn from our mistakes

We work whole-heartedly and value our wellbeing

Please read more about our purpose, beliefs and values here:  http://www.thereader.org.uk/who-we-are/our-values-and-beliefs.aspx

About the role:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

The Storybarn is a creative, interactive environment in which children can feel thoroughly alive and creative in the company of quality literature. We believe that books offer children a way to understand the world in which they live and the worlds inside themselves. The Reader exists to provide book-routes into this inner space, and to develop shared understandings of both it, and the outer world.

Training will be provided with space for creative adaptation of delivery for applicants to really make the role their own.

This role could be for you if you:

  • Passionately believe in the value of reading
  • Are flexible, enthusiastic and positive
  • Are incredible outgoing and confident working with children and families
  • Are Compassionate and creative

Key Responsibilities:

  • Inspiring young people to love reading and to feel confident and relaxed in the company of books
  • Being a lively, engaging, enthusiastic presence in the Storybarn, to encourage children to engage as fully as possible with the experience
  • Creating an exciting, stimulating environment in the Storybarn, to encourage children to make meaningful connections with the texts. This may involve using props such as puppets, musical instruments and other items to stimulate creative play
  • Delivering curriculum-based workshops for school groups in the Storybarn
  • Delivering Storybarn birthday parties
  • Maintaining excellent customer service by providing a safe, friendly and vibrant environment for all visitors
  • Upholding strict safeguarding policies.
  • Selling tickets, merchandise and handling cash
  • General housekeeping duties including opening/securing of premises
  • Ensuring timely communication of relevant issues/updates to management team as required
  • Promoting the experience
  • Any other duties as required

Person Specification:


  • Excellent at reading aloud
  • Able to demonstrate why literature is important to you
  • Experience of working/volunteering with children
  • Confident in dealing with the sometimes challenging behaviours of children
  • A flexible, playful and caring approach to working with children
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work unsupervised on occasion
  • A genuine willingness to work wholeheartedly as part of a lively team, to help the Storybarn project evolve and develop in the most positive and exciting ways
  • Able to engage with parents, carers and teachers in a relaxed, open and non-judgemental manner
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent timekeeping skills
  • Proficient in the use of MS office.
  • Flexible and committed to the success of the project


  • Excellent knowledge of children’s literature
  • A background in the children’s books/ performing arts/music
  • Experience of working with volunteers 

Training and supervision in shared reading and safeguarding practice will be provided.

You must be willing to undertake a DBS check

How to Apply

Note: Please do not just send in a CV. We will only consider applications that adhere to the following process:

Visit www.thereader.org.uk and select the ‘Working with Us’ tab where you will be able to view the full job description and download an application form. Please complete the application form and submit a covering letter, explaining how you meet the requirements of this role, to kateharrison@thereader.org.uk

Your covering letter is an opportunity for you to include any additional information which could not be explained within the application form.

Deadline for applications: 09:00 am on Wednesday 2nd August 2017.

NB: applications arriving after 09:00am will not be considered.

Interview dates to be confirmed. Volume of applications may make replies to everyone impossible.

Please note you may be required to deliver a presentation or complete a task at the interview.  If this is the case you will be informed of this when you are invited to interview.

Start Date: As soon as possible

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