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23rd Jun, 2021

Opening up a new chapter

WORCESTERSHIRE libraries have launched a new initiative to help tackle loneliness and isolation across the county.

The ‘Reading Friends’ scheme aims to bring people together to read, meet new friends and have fun.

It’s centered around three library services – the Library Service at Home (LSAH), online Connect Bubbles, and one-to-one telephone calls.

LSAH supports residents who are unable to access their local or mobile library because of age, disability, or long-term illness.

A selection of books are delivered each month to the customer’s home, tailored to their reading preferences.

Titles can include large print and spoken word versions to help those with visual impairment.

The scheme also ensures the one-to-one telephone calls will continue for customers who wish to receive them.

‘Connect Bubbles’ are online group sessions led by library staff and volunteers.

They provide a safe community for people to connect with others over shared interests.

Hannah Perrott, assistant director for communities at Worcestershire County Council, said: “Libraries are providing opportunities for people of all ages to stay connected with others, building healthier and more resilient communities across the county.

“The Reading Friends scheme is a fantastic initiative which will bring people together over a shared love of books and reading and help tackle loneliness and social isolation.

“As the roadmap out of lockdown continues, we hope to see more events and activities return to libraries which provide free and accessible community spaces for everyone”

Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/readingfriends for more information.

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