5-7 The Cross

Forfar, Angus DD8 1BX

01307 466 113

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Humanist Society Scotland

Book Group Facilitator (Volunteer)

To facilitate conversation in small groups of readers in our Book Group (which meets quarterly on a Thursday evening online) using Zoom breakout rooms. Our Book Group Facilitators provide an enjoyable and engaging experience for all participants. This book group is for members of the charity Humanist Society Scotland, so books will often be chosen with a humanist theme or angle. For example Andrew O’Hagan’s book ‘Mayflies’ which complimented our campaign for Assisted Dying as part of our Last Rights campaign focused on giving people at the end of their life control, dignity and choice.

We are looking for adults who support the vision and values of Humanist Society Scotland and have a love of books, and feel confident in their reading and group facilitation skills. You will need good communication and listening skills, and key to making a success of this role is the ability to make all participants feel welcome and included, and that their contributions are valued. Keeping conversations on topic, being ready with relevant prompts and questions, ensuring everyone who wants to, has the opportunity to speak, and summarising contributions made will all be essential in this role. You do not need to be a member of Humanist Society Scotland to apply, but we would expect you to join going forward.

Organisation aims and objectives

Humanist Society Scotland seeks a future in which: The worth, dignity and autonomy of every person is respected and individual freedom is balanced with social responsibility and a duty of care for future generations Scottish civic institutions are democratic and human rights are developed, embedded and protected; Ethical and moral problems are addressed with compassion, knowledge and reason; No belief system (religious or not) should have, nor expect, privilege in the democratic process. In effect we seek a secular Scotland.

Availability: Thursday evening.

Frequency and commitment details

In addition to reading the selected book, this role involves a commitment of roughly 2 – 4 hours per quarter. This includes a preparatory meeting with the team of Facilitators, some independent preparation/research, and the Book Group Meeting itself.


  • Experience required: Confidence in your reading skills. Understanding of Zoom and how to use it. Advanced preparation / research on chosen book. Clear communication. Active listening and empathy. Asking questions. Timekeeping. Establishing a psychologically safe environment for sharing. Creating focus amongst the group. Unbiased objectivity.
  • Travel details: This opportunity is home based, and requires a stable internet connection, and access to a device that can run Zoom web-conferencing software (preferably a PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer) with good audio and video.
  • Minimum age: 18


  • Expenses paid: Yes
  • Expenses details: We can reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, for example travelling to and from your volunteering. See our Volunteer Expenses Policy for more details.
  • Taster available: Yes
  • Taster details: you are welcome to try it before committing longer term.
  • Training details: You will receive a short induction to Humanist Society Scotland and to your role. You will have a named person as your first point of contact who will support you and answer any queries you have You will receive guidance via the Volunteer Handbook. You will be given any information or training necessary to carry out your role. We provide a clear procedure and support to resolve problems or disagreements.