NHS staff help local children to discover a love of reading

Members of the NHS in Bradford have been helping a local primary school to sort out their library books, as part of their commitment to their local community.

Nine volunteers from NHS West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit (WSYB CSU) based in Douglas Mill on Manchester Road, spent two half days out of the office at Bankfoot Primary School on Bolingbroke Street, helping to catalogue the school’s library, as well as spending time listening to some of the pupils read. The project was organised by Business In The Community, which helps organisations to connect with their local communities, and is one of a series in which WSYBCSU is taking part across Yorkshire.

The headmistress of Bankfoot, Juliet Wright, was delighted with the work of the volunteers:

“The contribution of the volunteers has been invaluable. It provided us with the impetus to get the job started and gave us a great head start. Thank you! We now have a new streamlined and easily accessible system in place for children to access a wider range of reading books for taking home. The children can’t wait to get their hands on them, particularly the new books.

“I know they will also enjoy reading to and with the volunteers on a weekly basis after the Easter holidays. This will help us to target additional support to children who might lack confidence, might need some help to catch up and those who are not making the progress they should. This is a great opportunity for us to receive support to ensure every child at Bankfoot not only can read well, but can also experience the pleasure again and again of getting lost in a good book.”

Linzi Kendall, Sustainability Lead at WSYBCSU, and one of the volunteers, is working with Business In The Community to organise the series of projects. She explains:

“It’s important for us to be involved with our local communities, as we’re committed to being a socially responsible employer. Our staff don’t work as directly with patients and members of the public as they used to, but many joined the NHS to give something back, and this is a great way for them to do that. Plus it underlines how important our communities are to the NHS, and how we can help to build resilience within them.”

More volunteers from WSYBCSU are taking part in BITC’s Right To Read scheme, helping Bradford primary school children with their reading. The scheme starts in the summer term and will see WSYBCSU staff members giving up an hour a week over ten weeks to spend time with local children. Bankfoot School will take part in the scheme.