Organisers of a summer holiday reading challenge which reached out to nearly 20,000 youngsters in Herts last year are gearing up for their 2015 project – and need volunteers to make it a record breaking success.

Herts County Council is looking for young volunteers to support children taking part in this summer’s Record Breakers-themed challenge, which will be launched in a month’s time.

Young people aged 14 to 24 are needed to help families involved in the scheme, which will run from Saturday, July 11.

There were 300 volunteers involved last year, encouraging children to keep reading throughout the school holidays and talk about the books they have enjoyed.

Jodie Cox, 19, has been a volunteer for the past five years. She said: “I love books. I’m even studying children’s books at university.

“That’s why when my mum suggested I ask the library if they wanted help with the Summer Reading Challenge, I thought I’d give it a shot.

“I have not regretted it one bit. My confidence has grown, as has my resourcefulness and organisation.

“Not only has volunteering at the library helped me improve my skills, it has led to other opportunities within the library, too.

“And it is so encouraging to see how happy the children look when they complete the challenge – it really makes you feel like it is all worth it.

Councillor Teresa Heritage, County Hall’s lead member for libraries, said: “We were delighted that so many young people volunteered last year, taking an active role in their local communities.

“I would encourage anyone looking for something worthwhile to do this summer, who enjoys working with children and who wants to make a positive contribution to sign up.”

Click here for more details or drop in to your nearest library.