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East of England Coop funding boost for our Lifeline service

We’re very grateful to the East of England Coop for helping Suffolk Libraries expand our new Lifeline service.

A £2,500 donation from the recently created East of England Coop Community Cares Fund has enabled us to increase the capacity of the service. \

The Suffolk Libraries Lifeline service was launched in May and has made almost 5,000 calls.

The service reaches out to people who would ordinarily access library services but who at this difficult time may be socially isolated or vulnerable. It has been extremely well received by people receiving the calls as it provides much needed human interaction and support.

The donation from the East of England Co-op will enable Suffolk Libraries to purchase additional mobile phones and data, enabling further staff to be involved in the initiative and in turn, support more people in our local communities.

The donation is one of the first made from the East of England Co-op Community Cares Fund, created to support community groups and charities adapt, enhance and continue to provide much needed services in new and innovative ways. Members of the East of England Co-op can continue to donate all or part of their dividend to the Community Cares Fund, which currently stands at over £300,000.

To find out more, visit www.eastofengland.coop/supportingcommunities.

Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries said:

“We’re incredibly grateful to the East of England Co-op for their donation. Many of our regular customers are feeling particularly isolated at the moment and we set up this service so we could stay in touch with them and check they’re ok. We know it’s making a huge difference to people’s lives and this funding will help us reach even more people across the county.”

Here are some examples of the positive impact that the service has had so far:

“J said that the call was a lovely surprise and had made her day! She was chatty and we talked about the support she was getting. She said she was 80% ok, and this was such a wonderful thing that Suffolk Libraries were doing. She wanted another call from us as she does not speak to anyone much.”

“T was very happy to talk this morning. He lives alone so is quite lonely at the moment. Missing coming into the library which he does every day.”

“Mrs H was very pleased to chat. She was extremely thankful and asked if I would call again as she was feeling a little down today and my call had picked her spirits up.”

Niall O’Keeffe, Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op, said:

“Suffolk Libraries run some fantastic initiatives for our communities, some of which we have been pleased to be able to support. This is a brilliant example of an organisation adapting their services to meet the needs of those who are being impacted by the current situation. We know that these calls are making a positive impact and hope that the donation from our Community Cares Fund will mean further members of our community can receive a call to brighten their day.”