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Halesworth Library to create memorial garden for late manager Ali Hopkins

A memorial garden is being planned at Halesworth Library in honour of much-loved Ali Hopkins, who managed the library up until her death in January 2019.

Library staff, volunteers and the Friends of Halesworth Library are raising funds for the work which will create a lasting memorial to Ali. The redesigned garden will be colourful all year round, provide a haven for wildlife, and be a space for events, children’s workshops and sitting in the sunshine to read a book. It will incorporate plants that Ali loved and be accessible to all.

A fundraising campaign has been launched today (7 January), on the first anniversary of her death. You can donate to the memorial garden online.

Ali was born and raised in Lowestoft and attended Kirkley High School. At the age of 17, she started her career in the county’s library service at Lowestoft Library in 1980. In 1996, she ensured that the new Halesworth Library was ready to open its doors, from hand-picking the book selections to planning the layout of the building and its contents.

Bruce Leeke, CEO of Suffolk Libraries paid tribute to Ali last year:

"Ali was a very popular and dedicated library manager who was well known and loved at the library and in the local community. She is still missed by everyone who knew her.

"Ali saw libraries as a means for people to reach their potential. She really understood that literacy was the gateway for people to access better opportunities and she continually strived to offer all that she could for the people of Halesworth through the library. Ali had recently become a ‘nanna’ and absolutely adored her dogs. She was a people person through and through and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for others. She was an inspiration to her team, her customers and the wider community."