Books on wheels service proves a novel idea

Falmouth Packet: Sue Pavey, service manager for the WRVS; volunteers Denise Birch, Karin Saunders and Jean Lee with Jayne Cardew senior library and information assistant Sue Pavey, service manager for the WRVS; volunteers Denise Birch, Karin Saunders and Jean Lee with Jayne Cardew senior library and information assistant

New clients are being encouraged to make use of the library service’s Books on Wheels initiative which sees volunteers deliver reading material direct to the homes of people who are elderly or housebound.

The home library service is a |countywide scheme which relies on volunteers from the WRVS and has proved a success, but the number of those using it in the Falmouth area has dwindled.

Jayne Cardew, senior library and information assistant at Falmouth, said: “I am certain there must be people out there who are not aware that they can have this service.

“We deliver to an individual person’s home on a regular basis. There are lots of people out there who don’t have large families or don’t have families close by, or maybe don’t have anybody at all and so feel isolated. The service isn’t just about delivering books, it is also about social interaction. It is another point of contact, with someone coming in and checking on an individual.”

The WRVS currently has about 20 volunteers delivering around Falmouth every fortnight, but there are only about 28 people making use of the service. “It always shocks me how few people know about the home library service,” said Sue Pavey, WRVS service manager. The service is mainly used by the elderly, but can also be accessed by people with mobility problems. It is free to use and a short interview can establish how it can be personalised towards each client.

“We find out what sort of things they like and check what format they want it in, ordinary print, large prints or audio books on CD,” said Jayne. “We can accommodate most things and we usually find something to suit most people. If we don’t have something in our library, we can get it from another library – we have the whole county’s catalogue of books.”

Anyone wanting to learn more about Books on Wheels should call 0300 1234 111 and ask for Falmouth Library or email Falmouth.library@cornwall.gov.uk.

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