This Loneliness Awareness Week, Hampshire County Council is reminding residents about the many activities on offer through the Library Service where people can meet up, learn new skills and boost wellbeing.

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, executive lead Member for recreation, heritage and rural Affairs, said: “Libraries are about so much more than borrowing books. Our libraries offer a community hub, where people can meet others, relax, or learn in a safe and welcoming environment. There is a wide variety of activities available for people of all ages many of which are completely free. From classes, courses and book clubs, to singing and storytime sessions for babies and toddlers - there is something for everyone. Recently, many libraries have also started groups to help Ukrainian guests and their hosts to connect with one another here in Hampshire.”

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Some examples of the services from Hampshire libraries include:

  • Book Clubs and Digital Readers - keen readers can join groups that meet in person and online.
  • Classes and courses, including wellbeing classes, baby rhyme time, story time, baby play, construction club, yoga, computer skills, knit and natter, scrabble club, craft clubs and more.
  • The Home Library Service for those who can’t get to the library due to ill-health, disability or caring responsibilities - books are delivered to homes on a regular basis.
  • Ukraine connections - local libraries are hosting events where Ukrainians can meet for a friendly chat and find out about library services.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Free public Wifi and help to get online.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s executive lead member for adult services and public health, said: “Loneliness is an important issue that can affect both mental as well as physical health, and affects people of all ages. Being able to connect with others can help enormously and our libraries offer a fantastic way to do this. If any resident or someone they know is feeling lonely or isolated, I would urge them to contact their local library or go online to find out what is available.”

For more information about the range of activities on offer at libraries across the county visit the Hampshire Libraries website.

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