Volunteering with Books2Africa

Books2Africa is a UK registered charity (1152599) and a charity in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Founded in 2012 by four African students at the University of Kent in Canterbury, the charity has grown from a student society to an internationally recognised non-governmental organisation that continues to impact the UK and Africa from the cathedral city of Canterbury. We have volunteering opportunities for people in the UK or International Volunteers looking to come here on a Tier 5 charity worker visa.

Volunteer in a safe and welcoming environment

Books2Africa’s Processing Centre in Canterbury is a safe and welcoming environment with a diverse and vibrant group of people working together to achieve our charitable objectives in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you are looking to gain work experience or looking to give back after retiring, we have a variety of tasks that are suitable for you. All our managers and supervisors are friendly and available to offer you the training and support needed to get started.

Why volunteer with Books2Africa

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Watch Lindsy explain why she volunteers with Books2Africa.

What volunteers do at Books2Africa

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Watch team members explain what they do at our Processing Centre in Canterbury

Benefits of Volunteering

In addition to completing our COVID-19 Risk Assessment and putting in place measures to ensure safe working, at Books2Africa, our volunteers are engaged and supported through various measures tailored towards minimising cost on their part and maximising productivity.

Free Lunch

Volunteers can order lunch from their favourite restaurants via our Deliveroo App during their shifts at the Canterbury office (max £10).

Free Transport

Volunteers can order an Uber ride on us when travelling for their shifts or claim back expenses when using public transport (max £10). 

Free Training

Volunteers undergo a variety of trainings to get started including; induction training, safe manual handling, inventory management and more.

Volunteering Hours

Volunteers use our Sign In App to sign in and out during their shift, ensuring all their volunteering hours are accurately accounted for every month.

Networking

Volunteers use our Slack App to collaborate with other team members remotely, signing up for shifts and taking part in team activities.

Certificate

Volunteers receive a certificate after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours and can request a reference letter if required.

Available Roles for UK Residents

If you are currently residing in the UK as a UK citizen or on a visa (such as a student or spousal visa) you can apply for the following volunteering roles:

Processing Support Officer (UK)

Processing Support Officers are required to join the Processing Team at our Processing Centre in Canterbury. You can volunteer on your own or as part of a group with your friends/colleagues.

  • Role Description: Responsible for checking, scanning, sorting and cataloguing donated books. As part of the Processing Team, you will be scanning/entering the barcodes/ISBN numbers of books using a computer and a barcode scanner.
  • Skills Required: Fluency in reading and writing in English, good typing skills and ability to work in a team. Experience in data entry is desirable but not essential as training will be provided.
  • Location: Books2Africa Processing Centre, Unit 2, Barton Business Park, New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3AA.
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can arrive at anytime between 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Saturdays, but only those who arrive at 9am will be entitled to free lunch.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Fundraising Support Officer (UK)

Fundraising Support Officers are required to join the Fundraising Team, working remotely as part of our Volunteer Fundraising Committee.

  • Role Description: Responsible for contacting potential funders and completing grant/funding applications to fund the collection, processing and shipping of books and educational resources from the UK to Africa.
  • Skills Required:  Good IT skills, excellent reading, writing and research skills and ability to work independently and as part of a team. Experience in writing grant applications is desirable but not essential as training will be provided.
  • Location: This is a remote volunteering role so access to a computer and internet is required. Team meetings are held on Zoom and Slack.
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can work remotely and flexibly to complete their assigned tasks at any convenient time within the deadline of each task.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Tech Support Officer (UK)

Tech Support Officers are required to join the Tech Refurbishing Team at our Processing Centre in Canterbury.

  • Role Description: Responsible for testing and refurbishing donated technology, including but not limited to laptops, desktops, tablets, mobile phones and game consoles. You will also be trained on how to list eligible devices for sale on our online charity shop.
  • Skills Required: Fluency in reading and speaking in English. Good knowledge of computers, willingness to learn and ability to work in a team.
  • Location: Books2Africa Processing Centre, Unit 2, Barton Business Park, New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3AA.
  • Available Shifts: Volunteers can arrive at anytime between 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, but only those who arrive at 9am will be entitled to free lunch.
  • Certificates and references: A certificate and references are provided only after completing a minimum of 200 volunteering hours.

Available Roles for Non-UK Citzens

If you are currently residing outside the UK and are not a UK citizen, Books2Africa can sponsor your Tier 5 Charity Worker visa to volunteer with us in the UK on our International Volunteering Programme (IVP) for 6 months or 1 year.

International Volunteer Programme - Tier 5 Charity Worker Visa

Our International Volunteering Programme (IVP) allows you to gain first-hand experience in the practical operations of an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and provides you the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, fundraising and communication.

Interns on our International Volunteers Programme work primarily at our Processing Centre in Canterbury, in various support roles as Support Officers and are involved in a variety of tasks including but not limited to; processing (cataloguing, sorting and packing donated materials), charity shop sales (valuing and listing donated materials for sale), tech refurbishing, marketing, fundraising. You will also be required to complete a range of tasks and training in project management and community engagement to maximise your experience during the duration of the programme.

Volunteering in Africa

We currently have volunteering opportunities at our Distribution Centres across Africa. Contact the centre directly by going to our Africa Offices page.

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Shipping and delivering 1 million books every year
involves the following:

Volume
Costs
Fundraising Target

30%

Processing in the UK

30%

Freight from the UK

40%

Clearing and haulage in Africa

Books2Africa is a UK registered charity number 1152599