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Lockdown Norfolk library service offers so much more than just e-books!

PUBLISHED: 08:30 05 May 2020

Norfolk libraries are offering a number of online activities, including a virtual version of its knitting sessions   Picture: Julian Claxton

Norfolk libraries are offering a number of online activities, including a virtual version of its knitting sessions Picture: Julian Claxton

2019 Julian Claxton Photography

We have been shining a spotlight on things that might help you feel less alone during the coronavirus lockdown as part of Norfolk County Council’s In Good Company campaign. Here we look at how Norfolk libraries are reaching out during this difficult time.

Norfolk County Council has relaunched its In Good Company campaign to help people stay connected through the coronavirus crisisNorfolk County Council has relaunched its In Good Company campaign to help people stay connected through the coronavirus crisis

Bringing people together in person is sadly not an option at the moment, but it has never been more important to come together – even if it is in a virtual environment.

Norfolk County Council’s In Good Company Campaign is working with partners across the county to demonstrate just how important it is to work in partnership, together for everyone. Now, more than ever, we need each other.

Libraries are one of those places that bring people together. They serve communities through thick and thin and provide valuable lifelines for vulnerable people across all walks of our society. While the lockdown has meant they have had to shut their doors, it hasn’t stopped their passion and commitment!

Norfolk libraries are dedicating their time and resources to bring as much of their service to you, online so you can be part of the community again. From knitting tutorials and podcasts, to bounce and rhyme sessions and even a virtual ‘Just a Cuppa’ , they are proving, once again, that our community spirit will get us through.

Jane Jay volunteers through Age UK and is determined to continue providing this valuable lifeline through the coronavirus crisis  Picture: Age UKJane Jay volunteers through Age UK and is determined to continue providing this valuable lifeline through the coronavirus crisis Picture: Age UK

Check out some of the activities below and take your pick:  

*Healthy Libraries Connect video features where you can ask questions or request information.

*Knitting tutorial started on Facebook on May 4 at 10am and will continue as a regular weekly item.

*Norfolk libraries have been running popular Just a Cuppa groups over the last few years. These groups provide the opportunity for people to meet, chat and socialise over a cup of tea or coffee. As it’s not currently possible to run these groups in the libraries, they are being run virtually over Zoom. You’ll be able to call in and see and chat to other people, while you have a cup of tea at home. The first virtual library Just a Cuppa will start on Saturday,

Active Norfolk is offering expert one-to-one guidance on how people can safely exercise at home   Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoActive Norfolk is offering expert one-to-one guidance on how people can safely exercise at home Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

May 9. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use Zoom, the library team can help you. If you would like to join the virtual Just a Cuppa, or would like help to get started with Zoom, email libraries.iconnect@norfolk.gov.uk  

*Ebook club for older children – download the book from the ebook library, and discuss your thoughts with the library team on social media. There will be new titles every two weeks and other ideas and suggestions will be shared along the way.

*Writers can motivate each other during an hour of ‘focused writing’ every week in the Shut Up and Write sessions. The host is live every Tuesday at 4pm introducing the session, offering wordcount challenges and prompts, and people can introduce themselves in the comment section.

All of the sessions above can be found here.

You may also want to watch:

VE Day 75 Celebrations

On Friday, May 8 the nation will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day, when the guns fell silent at the end of war in Europe. Sadly, due to the coronavirus restrictions most VE Day 75 events and street parties have had to be cancelled or postponed, but Norfolk County Council still wants to support the celebrations and encourage everyone to join in.

One activity that you can do from your own home is to make your own special VE Day 75 ‘Great British Bunting’ to display in your window, or why not make some and send it to neighbours and friends who might be on their own?

Visit bbc.co.uk/makeadifference for everything you need to get involved.

In Good Company Hero

As a partner of In Good Company, Age UK Norfolk is supporting many volunteers across the county. With their help, volunteers are reaching out to people who are on their own, making sure that they are staying connected.

For the past nine months, Jane Jay (pictured) has been visiting a lady who has a long-term health condition and is largely confined to her own home. She picked up bits of shopping, books from the library, and also helped her to use the internet for shopping and research and to keep in touch with people through Facebook.

Although she’s now not able to make home visits, Jane was determined to continue providing this valuable lifeline, calling regularly and offering help and support over the phone and by email.

Volunteers like Jane make a huge difference to people every day and not just during a crisis. Now is a great time to start volunteering but also to think about what you can carry on with when the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Active Norfolk support

Active Norfolk has set up a 1:1 telephone support service for vulnerable people that are digitally isolated.

If you know a vulnerable adult without internet access who needs support to exercise at home, ask them to call 0344 800 8020 and select Option 5 to request a call back from Active Norfolk.

They’ll be able to speak to a qualified physical activity instructor who will give them expert one-to-one guidance on how they can safely exercise at home.


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