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About the organisation

United Way UK

United Way UK was established in 2014 as a national charity with the aim of providing support to local communities to ensure every family and every individual can reach their full potential through good education, financial stability, and healthy lives.

We encourage people and organisations to support the local communities in which they live, work, and raise their children, through recognising each community’s specific needs, resources and expertise.

Driven by global vision with local focus, we bring together community needs and corporate goals, developing and delivering projects that have a positive direct and wider impact, reducing inequalities.

Application deadline: 

Reading Oasis Volunteers will be assisting our team to install Reading Oasis libraries in various schools throughout the country. We will offer you the opportunity to join us for an installation at least 5 times each year. All travel expenses will be reimbursed, and United Way UK will provide volunteers with a reference for any future employer or educational institution. Join us in making a valuable contribution to improving childhood literacy!

Role Aim: 

The United Way Reading Oasis places books into the hands of disadvantaged children through donating a small library to schools that lack reading resources, where 30% or more of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

The programme was designed in collaboration with teachers, educational experts and children. Every Reading Oasis includes:

• A safe, inviting space within the school where children can enjoy reading. The library has specially designed furniture to encourage children to pick up a book, sit down, and read.

• Hundreds of brand new Scholastic books.

• A book for every child to take home and keep.

• A book a month for a year, for every child in nursery.

• Resources for parents, carers and teachers with tips on reading with their children

We focus on children from disadvantaged backgrounds as they face the highest risk of being caught in a poverty cycle. Those with poor literacy levels have a higher likelihood of experiencing financial instability and unemployment later in life.


• We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us with Reading Oasis installations! This will include:

• Unpacking, sorting, and placing stickers on brand new books

• Organising books on shelves to the school’s specification (i.e. alphabetical, by topic, etc.)

• Helping to assemble book shelves and organize the library space in a school

Skills needed: 

• Enthusiasm and interest towards the Reading Oasis programme

• Flexibility to be called upon when needed

• Willingness to complete a DBS check


Students will receive an onboarding presentation and training given on site by paid UW staff

Various schools throughout Greater London
Time commitment: 
Opening times: 
This is a flexible role and the times will vary according to planned library installations. Installations generally take 5 hours and are done in the mornings on location at a school. We will offer you the opportunity to join us for an installation at least 5 times each year. Installations are generally planned weeks in advance and United Way UK always strives to give as much notice as possible to our volunteers. All travel expenses are reimbursed.

Once you’ve registered interest in this volunteering role, we’ll send your name and UCL email address to the organisation for their records. You’ll also receive information about the next steps to take if you do wish to take things forward. The organisation has signed up to our code of standards, which includes a commitment to protecting your data. We won’t share your information with anyone unless you’ve given explicit consent to. We’ll also retain your details so we can follow up to see how you’re getting on with your volunteering and offer support if necessary. We take good care of your data – you can see full details here