It’s been so good to work with the team, we’ve got such shared aims, we’re working for the same target audience for very similar outcomes. Having some activity to offer works for me, it’s good to be able to offer the people I support something. And to be part of shaping what that looks like is great.
Braunstone Town Community Library
‐ Local Area Coordinator, Braunstone
Volunteering makes me feel like I’m giving, contributing and I feel valued.
I enjoyed being part of a team to reach an end goal which is to make people happy and safe where they live. Integration of the community and to enable social harmony within the community. I love the coffee morning and to help out generally.
‐ Participant /Volunteer
By being involved with the project I feel happier and am busier.
“Impact on improved wellbeing has been significant, a week ago Katie [the LAC] had been working with someone who was very vulnerable. They needed to be out in the community but it would have been hard to get them to a community setting. But we were able to use the activity at the Library to gently support them to take steps.”
‐ Braunstone Town Council, Deputy Executive Officer & Community Services Manager
‘Inspiring Communities to Connect’
The Library team worked collaboratively with their community and local partners including the Local Area Co-ordinator and schools to commission freelance Creative practitioners to develop a range of creative and cultural activity. Each strand of activity had new volunteering opportunities that helped individuals to develop skills, build confidence and improve their wellbeing.
At the heart of this activity was the library, a community hub, offering a meeting place for people of all backgrounds and of all ages to connect, create and share together.
Community Engagement Sessions
The library held community engagement sessions to obtain feedback from local people about the type of activity they would like to see at the library. This approach allowed individuals to feel confident and comfortable to share their ideas and play a role in developing activities.
Families enjoyed ‘Artist in Residence’ sessions, created and delivered by our partners BabyGigs with support from Library Activity Volunteers. Families had the opportunity to connect with each other and the local community on a wildlife and heritage trail. Activities also linked in with the theme of Leicestershire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge and supported library book issues and joining figures.
Vinyl and Art
‘Vinyl and Art’ weekly sessions provided participants with the opportunity to come together to try out new art-based activities, such as visual art, yoga and creative writing – all to the sound of the library’s record player which created a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.
Grow and More
‘Grow and More’ workshops encouraged participants to take a moment, have some space, and to chat to new and old friends whilst planting and connecting with nature in the library and garden. Together the group explored what ‘more’ could be and enjoyed a wellbeing walk to the community orchard, foraging and flower pressing.
Spring Celebration Event
Participants from both projects planned, organised and led on a Spring Celebration Event for the whole community, running a range of creative and wellbeing activities – the piano was even rolled out and played by local artists.
Volunteer Led Coffee Morning
Volunteers recruited through the engagement sessions run a weekly coffee morning providing an opportunity for community members to connect.
Many of the participants were referred by the Local Area Coordinator and for some it was the first time they’d connected with others in their community or visited the library. It was truly wonderful to see new friendships form and confidence grow.
The project has empowered these participants to volunteer and set up legacy groups in the library, this project really has inspired its community to connect. Braunstone Town Library is once again a thriving hub!
For more information or to get involved contact:
Braunstone Town Community library
Tel: 0116 482 0159