As part of LEAP’s communication and language strand, Doorstep Library is a home reading service which aims to support children and parents in reading for pleasure, developing confidence and having fun as a shared family experience.
Doorstep Library’s trained volunteers visit families in pairs once a week with backpacks filled with books to share stories with children aged from 0-3 years old, and their siblings up to the age of 11. Volunteers visit families on the Loughborough and Tulse Hill estates in the home every week during term time.
This unique home-based service makes reading fun, accessible and convenient for families.
The session can take place on the doorstep with our little stools or inside the home, at the parents preference, and lasts about 10-20 minutes. Before the volunteers leave, they let the children choose books they might like to keep for the week, bringing new ones to swap on the next visit. There is no obligation to have a visit every week and the service is completely free.
The volunteers also encourage parents to get involved in the sessions when it’s convenient and to continue reading with children after they’ve gone. In addition, they tell parents and carers about other local services that might be of interest to the family.
The aim of the sessions is to be a fun experience, fostering a love of books and sharing reading for the whole family.
In a session the volunteers will sit down, choose books with the children and read with them and their parents, both as a way to inspire them and to improve their skills.
Very young children appreciate the routine provided by “story time”; this helps prepare them for nursery.
Sharing books and stories helps to develop children’s language and communication skills, and improves their concentration and attention span.
Families are encouraged to continue reading together, including bedtime stories, after the volunteers have left.
This increases shared family time, bonding children and parents, which aids health and wellbeing.
The sessions instil a love of reading from a young age and prepare children for independent reading.
Children from families whose mother-tongue is not English overcome their language barriers more quickly and then catch up at school.
Children and parents begin to consider books and reading for pleasure as an integral part of home life.
The service also supports parents more broadly through signposting to additional services they might find useful.
Doorstep Library promote their LEAP service by door-knocking on the Loughborough and Tulse Hill estates. Beyond this, they rely on referrals from local professionals.
The service is aimed at families who could benefit from a weekly reading session with at least one child under the age of three (to allow for enough visits before the child turns four.)
Contact the team who will then send you a referral form and further guidance.
Amy Quinn - Lambeth Project Coordinator
Phone: 020 8870 1476