Libraries reaching out to help combat loneliness and isolation in our communities

Finding it difficult to get to the library? Our friendly library volunteers come to you.

Hampshire Library Service offers a free Home Library Service to those who find it difficult to access their local library due to health issues, mobility problems or caring responsibilities. Specially trained volunteers are matched with members of their own communities, and can deliver a wide range of library materials including large print, audio books in various formats, reminiscence collection items and specialist books such as titles specifically designed for anyone living with dementia.

Benefits to volunteers and library customers
Age UK says that about a million older people suffer from loneliness, “an often devastating state of profound unhappiness”, and that feelings of isolation could be a sign of underlying ill-health. The leader of Britain’s GP’s, recently warned that loneliness is as bad for health as long-term illness.

Our volunteers visit their customers usually once a month and good friendships have been formed through this service. As one volunteer put it – “ The gift of HLS; the giving and receiving of books enriches both our lives. We are both reading authors recommended by the other! We have a tangible reason for getting to know each other, a very real reason for my visits and a definite double-positive as a result. For me, Home Library Service Volunteering is a match made in heaven”

Customers have commented that the service has been “a real lifeline”. One lady said that the selection was better than she could choose herself. A frail older couple told us “how wonderful it is to have a visit from someone who is not visiting because of medical needs but because of something pleasurable.”

We currently have approximately 360 volunteers visiting over 670 customers across the county and we’d like to expand the service, and reach out to anyone who needs us. If you or someone you know would benefit from this service, or you would like to join our team of volunteers, contact us by –

Telephone 0300 555 1387 or Textphone 0300 555 1390

Email: library@hants.gov.uk

An online form available on our website www.hants.gov.uk/library click on the Home Library Service link under Services for you.

Posted on Wed, 27/12/2017 - 10:39