Read stories from our volunteers about how volunteering with Suffolk Libraries has helped them gain skills and give back to the community.
Parvin has been volunteering at Long Melford Library for nearly two years, and helps with greeting and chatting to customers, setting up the library space and making sure everything is presentable.
“I’ve really enjoyed meeting people from lots of different generations and hearing some of their stories. It’s been a pleasure to see the positive effect my help has had – I feel like an important part of the team!
“It isn’t just about books and finding things for people to read, it’s about the customer’s wellbeing and the library is a safe place for them. I have always enjoyed working with people, and volunteering was a first step for getting back to work. It’s helped my confidence grow more and more – I look forward to coming in every day the library is open.”
Mary has been volunteering at Beccles Library since 2018 after her retirement. She offers an extra pair of hands around the library and helps out with the Summer Reading Challenge every year.
"I love having something to do, especially since retiring. It's great to meet people, and I love chatting to the families and listening to the stories children tell me. At library events I meet with other volunteers and enjoy spending time with them and with the library staff.
"I look forward to getting out and about, and the library offers a warm, welcome and safe space for the community. There is always a lot going on which I enjoy being part of and I love how varied my role is!"
Avni volunteered at Kesgrave Library as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award. She helps out with day to day tasks around the library, but also supports the Summer Reading Challenge.
“When I participated in the Summer Reading Challenge as a child, the volunteers were very supportive and helped me build my love of reading. Volunteering in the library gave me a chance to give back to the community. It’s helped increase my self-esteem and social-interactive skills.
“To anyone who has an interest to volunteer with Suffolk Libraries – go for it! It is a very welcoming and warm community that helps you gain useful skills for life. The volunteers work hard to build up community spirit.”
Chrissy has been volunteering at Debenham Library for several years. She started as a member of the Friends Group and now volunteers for the Home Library Service, which helps deliver library books and much-needed social interaction to elderly members of the community.
“Debenham Library is a special community hub – I enjoy serving the community and I have gained so much from volunteering. All of my ladies I visit as part of the Home Library Service are so lovely and they give me so much back. I have built up a wonderful relationship with these people, and it’s even encouraged my children to volunteer!
“At Suffolk Libraries, there is so much more going on then you realise, and you get to learn so many new things through volunteering. It can fit around your lifestyle and is very rewarding.”
Georgia recently became a Reader Development volunteer, and helps to organise the variety of author events Suffolk Libraries hosts including setting up spaces, meeting and greeting authors and attendees, and ensuring the event runs smoothly.
“We are so lucky to have our libraries and I wanted to help support the work they do. I’ve met some really interesting people and made new friends through volunteering – I’ve also had the chance to meet authors and find new books that I wouldn’t have read before!
“Volunteering makes me feel like I am making a difference and contributing to something that’s important to the community. It’s been a great chance to have new experiences, learn new things and meet lovely people!”