Cheadle Arts Festival Takes Shape in the Library

The attachment shows (reproduced with kind permission from the Cheadle Times and Echo Newspaper) plans are way ahead for this years Cheadle Arts Festival due to take place in June. Members of the Committee have been offering Drop In days at Cheadle Library where creative people in the community can register their interest and support. The focus of the High Street is to showcase the activities of local groups with the aim of uncovering personal stories to encourage more people to take up creative activities.

MJ Blog 2 CheadleArtsFestivalCommittee

So What?

The Group acknowledges it’s making use of the Town’s Community Library by making use of its space to liaise with artists and groups, “the library is at the heart of the community and we are really grateful to the trustees for giving their support to the Arts Festival.” This is great publicity for the library, will encourage more people to visit and develops its local connections even further.

Biddulph Local People’s Project Newsletter

The Biddulph Local People’s Project have produced a Newsletter, their first one in December 2019. The group come together in Biddulph Library to discuss what activities and events they want to see happening and to make improvements in the local area, which is Biddulph East Ward. The Newsletter features some poetry from its recent Writers Project, focuses on a volunteer meeting the CEO and Program Manager of the People’s Health Trust and promotes a competition for young people to design it’s logo.

So What?

The Group have made a fantastic start, its competition, poetry and events all contribute towards making the Newsletter interesting, informative, fun and very local. The photograph shows 2 members of the group Margaret Jackson (on the left) and Jan Selby, they were also key members of the Library Friends Group. We are very fortunate to have people like them in our community, they are the best advocates for libraries and the work they do.

MJ Blog 3 Everyone Health Checks at Blythe

The Blythe Centre have been working with Everyone Health to offer free health checks in the library. Everyone Health are an organisation that work in partnership with Staffordshire County Council to delivery health advice into local communities. On 28th January 8 members of the public were given the full MOT which is a blood pressure check, BMI, finger prick test to check blood sugars and cholesterol level. Another 5 had a mini-health check which is everything but the blood test. The Website shows the list of venues currently advertising – it would be great to see more libraries offering this free service.

So What?

These checks have been traditionally done in GP Surgeries in the past but funding is available to offer them in the community now. This means it frees up GPs to treat the more serious cases and can be more convenient for the public. It’s a great way to encourage new people to visit and discover what’s in store.

Blythe’s Bumper Hampers

As part of my role as a Community Support Officer I pop into the CML libraries on a ad hoc basis just some times to say hello to volunteers that I have not seen in a long time. On this occasion at Blythe I was faced with goodies galore. The Committee at Blythe wanted to reward the volunteers and say big thank you at Christmas by putting together these lovely goodie bags!

So What?

Saying thank you is really important as volunteers usually have a lot of other commitments but make a point of turning up to man the desk when they have agreed they would. We are very thankful and obviously couldn’t function without you all. The photograph shows Helen Bickerton (Chairperson) and Sharon Cartlidge hard at it creating a lovely treat for each volunteer.

Werrington’s Wonderful Wreaths

The Library been really impressed with the quality of the flower arranging produced by the ladies of Werrington, so much so that they have moved onto to Christmas Wreaths. The event is great fun and a superb lunch is enjoyed afterwards. A great way to get to know everyone and to get on top of Christmas.

So What?

The events are looked forward to and soon sell out. Knowing what your community wants is part of Werrington’s Community Volunteer Groups success. Obviously, a great team of volunteers helps too!

November 2019 Update

This is the first blog update following a very busy summer. The Team have successfully transferred a further 5 libraries to community management, which brings the total number of Community Managed Libraries in Staffordshire to 27. We’re really pleased that of the 27 Libraries moved forward into community management, all are staffed by volunteers and delivering Library services to their respective communities.

A huge ‘Thank You’ to all the partner organisations who are supporting the network of Community Managed Libraries across Staffordshire.

We have also said goodbye to one of the Team  of Community Support Officers. Cathy Attwood retired in June 2019. Her workload has been divided up amongst the remaining Team.

Stop Press!

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Community Managed Libraries win National Award

MPFT in partnership with Staffordshire County Council have won a HSJ Award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 7/11/19. The Community Managed Libraries project had been shortlisted in the Health and Local Government Partnership Award along with nine other nominees.

The HSJ Awards are the biggest and most prestigious awards for the NHS Sector in the Country.

This is fantastic for everyone involved in project to be recognised nationally for all the hard work that they have put in

Cheadle Volunteers Rock Solid and Wasting No time!

The Cheadle Community and Information Resource Group (CCIRG) have held the reins at Cheadle Library since 12th July. They have smashed the targets for the number of children to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge whilst learning the new computer system at the same time. The group is newly formed, made up from a number of dedicated individuals and some original members of the Cheadle Discovery Group. Library Community Support Officer (CSO) Michelle Jackson, has been really impressed how the volunteers have put the library first in their busy lives and thrived in a very busy library in the first few weeks. “The volunteers have shown real dedication and determination to provide the public with professional service and a friendly face.” The group have already organised an Exhibition entitled ‘Rocks, Minerals and Quarries’ starting on Oct 12th. Wasting no time, the Group were keen to invite author, Karen McCreedy, whose roots are firmly in Cheadle, to a book launch at the library on Sat Oct 9th.

So What?

The Group have made a fantastic start, not only in getting to grips with running the library but have begun planning for the future with events already underway and press already in the local paper, The Cheadle Post and Times.

Sharing Success

Our countywide team of 5 Community Support Officers (CSOs) meet with Community Capacity Manager Chris Plant each month. The CSOs have helped to transfer 27 libraries over to community management over the last 3 years, whilst also significantly helping to increase volunteer numbers in our staffed libraries. These meetings help us to work on the future planning of the library service in respect to volunteers and local communities, whilst also discussing the work we have done in the previous month. As such these meetings are really valuable.

So What?

This demonstrates the importance both of team working and sharing good practice. The CSOs are always willing to help and support each other, whilst also learning from all of our experiences.