Literacy Pirates

a fleet of learning centres in Hackney, Haringey and soon beyond

The Impact of Volunteer Crewmates

Become a Volunteer Crewmate

We are looking for volunteers to join us in transforming the learning experiences of the Young Pirates we work with by supporting them one-to-one in our after school sessions.


What does volunteering involve?

We believe that the community holds a great wealth of untapped resources that can inspire young people and that, with the right training, everyone has a role to play in helping young people learn.

Every weekday our wonderful, unconventional learning spaces in Hackney and Haringey play host to a group of 9-13 year olds from the local area who come for one-to-one support from committed Volunteer Crewmates because their teachers think they could do with extra support.

As a volunteer, you will support the Young Pirates with reading and creative writing. Our termly projects culminate in the publication of storybooks, studio recordings and websites. You can find out more about what we do here: Adventures in Learning.

The Difference You'll Make

As a Volunteer Crewmate you could make a real difference to a young person's achievement in school, as well as their confidence and their ability to persevere. Our Young Pirates have been recommended to work with us because their teachers think they could do with a boost to their learning. Over your time with us you will work with at least 12 young people, providing them with at least 30 hours of one-to-one support, and helping them to succeed in school and the world beyond. By sharing your passion and enthusiasm with them you will help change the way they engage with learning, and you will show them it can be a grand adventure. Our Young Pirates need you!

“I feel more confident with my writing because I get lots of encouragement” - Milo

How do I sign up?

To become a volunteer you will need to fill out a short application form by clicking on the ‘Volunteer’ button at the top or bottom of this page.

You will also need to complete our volunteer training programme before starting your first session. This involves a 90 minute volunteer taster session and a 3 hour training session.

No previous experience working with children is necessary, just enthusiasm and an interest in doing something new and bold.

You will be asked to complete a DBS check as part of the recruitment process in accordance with our child protection policy.

What's the time commitment?

To join our crew you will need to commit to volunteering for at least 12 sessions (preferably at the rate of one session a month). Sessions run from 3.45-6.45pm every weekday during term time, and we also have holiday workshops (usually 1.45-4.45pm during certain weeks of the school holidays), full class engagement sessions (term-time mornings) and other one-off sessions and events. Our main term-time sessions last 3 hours (weekdays 3.45-6.45pm), and you will need to commit to attend entire sessions.

What are the minimum requirements of a volunteer?

  • Able to independently support Young Pirates in their learning

  • A patient and respectful approach to children and adults

  • Functional English skills

  • Good communication skills. The ability to follow, retain and then relay instructions

  • Reliable and punctual

  • Self-reflective, seeking ways to improve individual practise

  • Able to implement our learning strategies and behaviour management techniques

*If you feel you would benefit from some additional support to fulfil these requirements, please contact us to discuss.


If you are interested in volunteering in The Ship of Adventures shop then you can find out more information here