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10 ways to jumpstart your January with Suffolk Libraries

Throughout the first month of 2020, we're running Jumpstart January, a month-long celebration of everything our libraries do to improve your wellbeing. Here are just ten of the ways you can boost your mood across the county this winter.

1. Get sporty with Move It! sports equipment

Since 2018, we've been offering sports equipment for loan as part of our 'Move It!' pilot project at Bury St Edmunds, Gainsborough Community Library Haverhill, Newmarket, Saxmundham and Stowmarket libraries. Equipment varies from library to library, but includes dumbbells, play parachutes, swingball, badminton, bowling, football, cricket, basketball, tennis, yoga and rounders equipment, which you can borrow for up to three weeks.

2. Explore your wellbeing with Open Space

We currently run weekly drop-in groups at Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Ipswich County, Newmarket, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Woodbridge libraries, where you can meet new people and participate in various discussions and activities. These are run in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Julian Support, Richmond Fellowship and Suffolk Mind.

3. Pick up new skills in boxing and martial arts

Did you know that every Wednesday, Gainsborough Community Library hosts a boxing fitness class for 14-19 year olds (with Suffolk Sport), and a Bujinkan martial arts class for ages 16+? They also hold boxing and fitness sessions for 8-11 year-olds every other Tuesday.

4. Join a reading group

Most libraries offer at least one reading group where members can get together once a month to share their thoughts on particular titles. There are also groups dedicated to specific genres and tastes, such as poetry, crime, light reads and children’s books. And if you don’t see anything you like at your local library, you can start your own!

5. Enhance your mental awareness with yoga and Pilates

Increase your strength, postures and flexibility with free yoga classes at Beccles Library as part of their 'Wellbeing Wednesdays', or strengthen your muscles with beginners' or intermediate Pilates on Wednesdays at Stradbroke Library.

6. Bring your preschooler to our Wordplay sessions

We recently relaunched our Wordplay sessions, which improve speech development and memory for children aged 0-5 through singing, stories and play while giving parents and carers the chance to meet and chat. These take place at most of our libraries at least once a week.

You can also find breastfeeding support at Chantry Library on the first Monday of the month at 9:30am and at Broomhill Library on Thursdays at 10am.

7. Learn something new with Kanopy's Health & Wellness documentaries

Our video streaming service, Kanopy, has hundreds of films to choose from in its Health & Wellness category. Watch acclaimed documentaries on sports and fitness, nutrition, mental health and more, or take your knowledge further with one of The Great Courses.

Set up Kanopy →

8. Reminisce about Sporting Memories

We work with the the Sporting Memories Network to hold Sporting Memories reminiscence groups for over 50s at Ipswich County Library, Lowestoft Library and Shotley (Suffolk Libraries Local). Banish loneliness and make new, like-minded friends as you discuss sport and enjoy sports-themed games and activities.

9. Improve your digital skills

Received a new device or tablet as a gift but not sure how to use it? We can help you make the most of technology and access our eLibrary services. All Suffolk libraries offer free internet access and informal advice for getting online. Some libraries will also offer free one-to-one computer and internet training. Whether it’s about computers, tablets or smartphones, your local library is there to help!

10. Borrow a book today

Last year, we loaned over three million items from our physical and digital collections! Why not borrow a book or audiobook from our physical catalogue, an eBook or eAudiobook from Overdrive or an eAudiobook from BorrowBox and relax with a good story?