Inspired Selection volunteers

Volunteering to change lives

5th December 2016 | Blog

International Volunteer Day is a day when people and organisations around the world celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. Certainly our work at Book Aid International wouldn’t be possible without the passion, dedication and hard work of our wonderful volunteers. You can read more about all that our volunteers bring to the work and life of the charity here.

We caught up with some of our volunteers to find out why they volunteer for us.


I want to share some of the opportunities that I have with others and books and education have made the biggest difference to my life. Books share ideas, they generate new ideas and they put different people’s ideas into communication with each other.

-Alice, Community Ambassador. Alice supports our work in a variety of ways including running pre-school story-telling and craft sessions, Christmas fairs and literary quizzes. She also arranges library fine donations days at Edinburgh and St Andrews university libraries when all library fines paid on that day are donated to Book Aid International.


IBBY conference


Some time ago, I worked in Zambia as a librarian and I received a lot of letters asking for books. I was not able to send any books, but Book Aid International can. I know that the books I help to send will be enjoyed by lots of people in schools and libraries all over sub-Saharan Africa.

– Diana, Community Ambassador. Diana undertakes a variety of activities as part of her role including visiting schools on World Book Day (dressed as Mary Poppins!) to tell children about Book Aid International and manning a stand at an annual conference for people interested in children’s literature.


I have visited Africa and seen the shortage of books in libraries in some of the countries there. I get real satisfaction seeing photos of books I have helped pack now on the shelves of African libraries. It’s a really worthwhile cause.

Helen, warehouse volunteer. Helen works alongside our Operations Team, shelving, picking and packing books ready for shipment in our warehouse every week.


Cake sale


I’m really moved by the thought that some people simply don’t have the opportunity to read for pleasure or education. When I heard about the great work Book Aid International does, I decided to use my position inside a publishing house to help this great charity.


-Jess, Publisher Ambassador. Jess secures book donations and holds fundraises for Book Aid International in her work place.


I believe strongly in the power of education which is why I volunteer for Book Aid International. Children who are bright and ambitious should not be thwarted by a lack of books.

-Jane, Community Ambassador. Jane holds an annual fundraising dinner in support of Book Aid International. She uses it as a medium to raise awareness about the charity in her local area.


It means a lot to me that through volunteering for Book Aid International I can contribute, in a very small way, to the positive direction of people’s lives. Being involved is not all one sided. I feel useful and my life as a retired person has more meaning.

-Shirley, Community Ambassador. Shirley’s activities as a Community Ambassador include raising awareness and funds for the charity at book festivals and designing and selling her own cards and paintings.




I enjoy the company, the friendly atmosphere and above all thinking about the changes made possible for those who receive the books I help send.

-Gill, warehouse volunteer. Gill works alongside our Operations Team, shelving, picking and packing books ready for shipment in our warehouse every week.


I like being a Publisher Ambassador because I believe that the work Book Aid International does and contributes to is essential to increase literacy in sub-Saharan Africa. Books and learning really can change lives.

-Helen, Publisher Ambassador. Earlier this year, Helen ran Edinburgh Marathon in support of our work. She also talks to colleagues, friends and her followers on twitter about our work whenever she has the chance.


Andrew Hewitt Community Ambassador


In the developing world, the correlation between literacy, health, self-determination and economic well-being really drives home the truth of the charity’s motto that ‘books change lives’. I’m extremely proud of Book Aid International’s work and honoured to make a contribution, however small, as a volunteer.

-Andrew, Community Ambassador. Andrew raises awareness about Book Aid International, giving short talks about our work at social clubs, book groups, libraries and schools. He also organises an annual literary quiz for book-lovers in his local area.


A very big thank you from us all at Book Aid International to each and every one of our volunteers for the difference they help us make.  We couldn’t do it without you!

If you’re interested in volunteering for us, take a look at the links below to find out more.


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