Ian Burley, Community Support Officer for South East Staffordshire Libraries, is involved in a project to improve community engagement in Shobnall Ward, Burton-upon-Trent. 2 Community Fun Days have so far taken place in Shobnall, with hundreds of people attending, and a third is planned for later in the year. ESOL courses (English for Speakers of Other Languages) have been set up at Princess Street Community Centre, volunteering roles found for several local people and an information flyer for the local community is also planned. Other partners involved in the project include Burton Albion Community Trust, Support Staffordshire, East Staffs Borough Council, Shobnall Parish Council and Burton and South Derbyshire College.
Ian says “Libraries can play a vital part in supporting local communities and helping to strengthen community engagement. I am really heartened that people have been coming out in numbers to attend the local Fun Days and that we are helping people to improve their skills and find volunteering roles. Working with a range of partners has also been a very interesting and rewarding experience”.