Carers Week and Libraries

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Carers Week and the Home Library Service

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.  It takes place from 11 – 17 June 2018 and, during this time, individuals and groups across the UK will work together and organise events to raise awareness of the hard work done by carers across the country.

North Somerset provides a Home Library Service, available to people who cannot get to the library themselves.  Most people join the service because their own health prevents them from easily getting to a library.  However, the Home Library Service is available to carers as well.  If a person’s caring responsibilities prevent them from accessing a library, the Home Library Service is there to help.

Some of our volunteers have told us why they think the Home Library Service is so special.

“In the past 18 months I have helped five library members to get books and audio books. I go to the library to choose books and also reserve titles online from the Libraries West catalogue to get the authors they like.

It is a privilege visiting and getting to know these people. My visits give them an extra person calling in and is really appreciated by family members who provide care or who live too far away to get them books.” (Pam, Volunteer in Clevedon).

DSCF0166“I currently have four customers including one blind gentleman.  The library service provides me with information about the customers including the genre of books they like to read/listen to.  I choose books/audio CDs and visit their homes every three or four weeks.

 My customers look forward to my visits, especially as some are housebound.  As well as delivering the books I always allow time to have a chat.  I find it very interesting to learn about their lives and interests. 

Before I read the newspaper article I had no idea that this volunteering role existed.  I am sure there are many people in the community who would benefit for a Home Volunteers visit but may not be aware of this service.  I am glad that I have become involved and I firmly believe that my customers derive great benefit from this facility.”  (Marion, Volunteer in Portishead)

If you are interested in receiving the Home Library Service, please ring 01934 426 657

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Home Library Service volunteer, please read our role description here and sign up to attend an Open Evening.

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Volunteer’s Week 1 – 7 June

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Thank you!!!! To all North Somerset Library volunteers.

You have all helped us to deliver a variety of activities in libraries and in the community during the past year and we wanted to say thank you.  284 volunteers have supported North Somerset during the past year and between you, you have contributed 7294 volunteering hours.

You help us to deliver Story & Rhyme times, computer support and Family History sessions.  You help make the Summer Reading Challenge such a success and you allow us to reach people in their own homes through the Home Library Service.  You support Memories Shared sessions and Gadget Clubs in libraries throughout North Somerset.

All of these things make a huge difference to lives of people who use our library services and they wouldn’t be possible without you so thank you!!!!!

Dementia Action Week & Libraries

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DEMENTIA ACTION WEEK – 21 – 27 May 2018

21 – 27 May 2018 is Dementia Action Week. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. The Alzheimer’s Society provide support and advice to those affected and their families.

Libraries work hard to support people with dementia and their families and friends. All of our libraries have collections of Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia available to borrow. All staff are trained Dementia Friends and libraries are safe, welcoming community spaces.

One of the way that libraries support people with dementia is by offering Memories Shared sessions and volunteers are vital in helping to provide this service. Memories Shared sessions use photographs and eReaders to encourage older people to reminisce. These sessions can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of older people including those living with memory loss and dementia, as well as helping to reduce feelings of isolation, social exclusion and loneliness and bringing down barriers to ICT for older people.

Memories Shared sessions take place at various location across the district, from residential homes to community cafes. If you are interested in hosting a session, contact your local library  for more information.

Click here to find out more about being a Memories Shared volunteer.

A free event is being held at The Winter Gardens on Thursday 24 May, 9.15am – 1.15pm, to provide information and advice to people with dementia and their families. The Library Service will be attending alongside many other organisations.

Applications now open for Summer Reading Challenge Volunteering!

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Applications are now open for Summer Reading Challenge volunteering. You can apply online directly from this site by clicking on the Summer Reading Challenge tab and filling in the application form.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge runs in public libraries between July and September in partnership with The Reading Agency. The Challenge aims to give children aged four to 11 an enjoyable activity to complete over the summer and prevent any dip in literacy that may occur during the long school holidays.

We really value the contribution volunteers make in helping us to run the Summer Reading Challenge in North Somerset libraries. Volunteers talk to children about the books they have read, help children choose books and hand out rewards of stickers, posters, and medals. Last year 78 volunteers helped with the Summer Reading Challenge at libraries across North Somerset.

This volunteering role is open to adults and young people aged 14 and over. Volunteering can be used to enhance your CV, Duke of Edinburgh and other award schemes, an addition to personal statements for college or university or to support your community.

If you are a current North Somerset Library volunteer or if you volunteered for the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge, you do not have to fill in another application form, please just drop us an email at library.volunteers@n-somerset.gov.uk and let us know that you would like to volunteer again this summer.

New role – Code Club volunteer!

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We are very excited to share our new volunteer role: Code Club Volunteer!

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Code Clubs are regular sessions for children aged 9-13 to learn how to create simple digital animations and computer games. They use ready-made step-by-step projects created by Code Club UK using programming tools such as Scratch, Python and HTML. We currently have Code Clubs at Worle and Portishead libraries, and another in the pipeline at Nailsea library. They are very popular, so we would like to start up new clubs in other libraries.
We are organising an information session for volunteers to find out more about running a Code Club. This session will tell you more about what is involved. It will be “hands-on” with the chance to try out coding with Scratch, and have a go at using our library Microbits.

If you think you might like to help children with learning to code, please sign up for our next Volunteer Open evening.

Register for Open Evening

Meet the Volunteering team!

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Introducing the Libraries Volunteering team:

me      Sarah Smith is the Library Supervisor responsible for the recruitment and training of new volunteers.  She is also responsible for the Home LIbrary Service.

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Rob Giles, our new Outreach Officer, will be administering recruitment of volunteers and routine correspondence.

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Sophia Richards, Community Librarian, manages and oversees the volunteer programme.

To contact Sophia, Sarah or Rob on the Volunteering Team you can email us: library.volunteers@n-somerset.gov.uk

or you can phone us: Library Volunteers: 01275 884315 or Sarah Smith, Community Services Supervisor tel: 01934 426657

Home Library Service volunteers needed!

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“It is a pleasure to be able to help people continue with their reading who are unable to get to the library themselves. You meet some very interesting and lovely people.” (Volunteer, Clevedon library)

We are currently looking for additional Home Library Service volunteers for the Weston-super-Mare area.

This is a very rewarding volunteering role, choosing and delivering books to people who cannot visit the library through ill health or frailty.

Visits to customers are usually once a month, the role is flexible as you arrange dates and times directly with the people you visit. Many of our Home Library Service customers find the service is a lifeline to them.

If you would like to find out more information about becoming a Home Library Service volunteer please have a look at the role description, and come along to our next volunteer open evening on Tuesday 26 September at Yatton library and children’s centre.