Living Library Volunteers

We are seeking volunteers to attend the Living Library and offer aspects of their personal experiences to “readers” who want to share their stories.

Department: Marketing and Communications
Place of Role: Jubilee Library, Brighton
Hours of Role: TBC
Reporting to: Communications Officer

The organisation will reimburse reasonable travel expenses. Where a volunteer works more than 5 hours in any one day a lunch allowance of up to £3.50 will be provided.

What is the RISE Living Library?

The RISE Living Library started in 2010. It was developed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudice and encourage understanding about domestic abuse. The simple format creates an opportunity for members of the public to speak to survivors and those who work to support people affected by domestic abuse.

A broad range of volunteers “Living Books‟ are carefully recruited. The Living Books include survivors, refuge workers, the police and others. Living Books speak one to one with interested members of the community. Each ‘reading’ lasts up to 15 minutes.

The event has been regularly held in the windows area of the Jubilee Library. The area is kept free for the Living Library and all Books and Staff members wear RISE Living Library Tee Shirts. This serves to anonymize the Books so professional staff and service users are indistinguishable.

Living Books write their own Book title, subtitle and synopsis. They use this to put boundaries around the areas they are happy to discuss.


The role of a Living Book can be demanding and challenging, but also interesting and fun. As a Living Book you are required to attend the Living Library and offer aspects of your personal experiences around domestic abuse to “readers” from the community who will borrow your time to have your story shared with them. The commitment is as big or as little as you are able to give. It is run by RISE in Community Venues.


• To share aspects of your personal story of surviving, or working with survivors of domestic abuse, with interested members of the public
• The ability to answer questions honestly on the day
• The ability to communicate your personal boundaries
• Ability to answer questions about your life that will help borrowers, i.e community members who have a genuine interest in learning more about you and your life, understand you better
• Willingness to help people learn about the impact of domestic abuse on different aspects of life
• Willingness to talk with a range of different readers
• Attend RISE’s briefing session prior the event.


• Reliability
• A friendly disposition
• An openness to being yourself on the event
• Able to respond appropriately to stereotypes and prejudices
• Able to be clear about but not preach
• Reflective and mature in attitude
• A good listener
• Confident to talk with people you don’t know
• At all times you will be expected to protect the safety and security of services, service users, staff, volunteers and buildings, and the confidentiality of records and other information
• Ensure the effective implementation of RISE policies and procedures
• Acknowledge and actively support the rights of women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse.

To apply for this role, please request a RISE Volunteer Application form, using the form below. Service users and ex-services users will  also need to complete a Service User Authorisation Form.