Supporting Grayce’s charity partner, Bookmark Reading

A team of Grayce Analysts have undertaken volunteering at Bookmark Reading, a charity organisation working to support children’s literacy. 

Bookmark Reading is a charity organisation, formed in 2018, with a simple vision of wanting every child to read. Bookmark work to support children’s literacy through their reading programmes and work across the UK to give children the gift of literacy. More than 1 in 4 children in England are unable to read well when they leave primary school, and Bookmark was founded to battle that statistic. 

Whilst working with Bookmark this year, Grayce have been able to streamline some of their key operations. Sacha Hamed, Head of Volunteering at Bookmark says, “From providing analysis on volunteer cancellations and no shows, to ensuring children are receiving as much reading time as possible, to volunteer recruitment and marketing analysis to further expand Bookmark’s reach, Grayce have been there at every step of the way.”  

We caught up with Grayce Analysts, Harriet and Luke, who have been volunteering with Bookmark to learn more about their experiences and what they’ve learnt. 

How Did You Support Bookmark? 

Harriet Aubertin: “During my time working with Bookmark, I helped in the Bookmark Box project for five weeks. This was an emergency appeal to raise £1 million in order to provide 5,000 Bookmark boxes for Ukranian children arriving in the UK. I took on the role of Volunteer Manager where I was responsible for coordinating the volunteers who came in daily, by showing them how to pack and distribute boxes efficiently. I also assisted the Project Coordinator in administrative tasks, for example using Power BI to check project figures and projections to make sure we were on target and had enough stock to continue.” 

Luke Taylor: “At Bookmark, I organised the boxes as part of the Bookmark Box project. This involved folding the boxes and adding in a variety of goodies, from books to a tablet, and even a stuffed toy! After the box was packed, then came the shipping packaging and labelling. Once that was all done, the box was ready to be sent out and then I repeated this process until we reached our daily target.” 

How Has Your Work Impacted Bookmark? 

Harriet: “The project was a huge success and Bookmark have since surpassed their original goal and have completed the project at the end of August with 6,500 boxes. I felt part of the team straight away and after being there for five weeks, I was sad to leave! The Bookmark team were super thankful for the help, and it was an extremely rewarding experience.” 

Luke: “As part of my work, Bookmark were able to smash their original target of 5,000 and I was glad to be a part of that team.” 

What Did You Enjoy Whilst Volunteering at Bookmark? 

Harriet: “I really enjoyed meeting all the volunteers who were keen to support the same cause and get to know them all personally. I also learnt some excellent skills that I will take onto any future Grayce client roles such as: project management, organisational skills, balancing responsibilities, and social skills.” 

Luke: “The welcoming atmosphere at Bookmark, the friendly nature of all staff, made my time there extremely enjoyable. Peeking at the reading books the children would be receiving was fun as I learn how much, or how little, books have changed since I was younger.” 

What Would You Tell Someone Who Is Thinking of Volunteering? 

Harriet: “Volunteering is a very grounding and rewarding experience. It was such a fantastic opportunity, and I’d really encourage anyone to take on any volunteering project you can do in your spare time.” 

Luke: “If you find yourself ever getting caught up in the stresses of everyday life, volunteering is a brilliant way to help that. You may never meet the people you are helping, but you can be happy knowing there is someone out there, who is appreciative of what you have done for them. Understanding that you are helping others, enables you to truly feel good about yourself. Not only that, but you are providing support to the ones that need it the most. I really recommend to anyone, whether you have volunteered before or not, to take the opportunity and put yourself out there.” 

How Has Grayce Supported Your Volunteering Efforts? 

Harriet: “Grayce has enabled me to complete pro bono work during my time between client rotations. They were happy for me to do it from the start and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I feel more prepared for future client roles now with an added skillset.” 

Luke: “The CSR team at Grayce helped facilitate this volunteering experience. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Grayce’s CSR Lead, Chloe McKay, and Alfie Lowe for offering me the opportunity and support.” 

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