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Suffolk Libraries and Rock Paper Scissors get on their bike for Big Weekender!

Suffolk Libraries and local young people’s arts programme Rock Paper Scissors will be hitting the streets of Ipswich in an amazing new art bike for Suffolk Libraries Day and the Ipswich Weekender which runs from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 March.

The new art bike has been purchased after Rock Paper Scissors were awarded £11,000 from Suffolk County Council’s Public Mental Health Programme through its Children and Young people subgroup. The project is a form of detached youth work where artists use the Art Bike to travel to spaces where children and families gather and encourage them to take part in creative activities while promoting conversations about wellbeing.

This will help reach different communities in an environmentally friendly way whilst promoting healthy and sustainable travel. The aim is for Rock Paper Scissors to reach around 300 children and young people in the area through the art bike project.

The bike will be part of Suffolk Libraries special pop-up library at Ipswich Town Hall from 10AM to 4PM on Saturday 11 March, which is Suffolk Libraries Day.

On Sunday 12 March the art bike will then be travelling across various locations in the town from 12PM to 4PM. To see where it’ll be visiting you can follow Rock Paper Scissors at @teamrockpaperscissors on Instagram.

An artist will cycle to different locations in Ipswich delivering free pop-up family art workshops and sharing information about what is on offer at Rock Paper Scissors art studio and at libraries. Any children taking part will be given an art project to take home and to show off to friends and family. The activities will range from making storytelling crowns and masks to mini dioramas.

Rebecca Abbott, Suffolk Libraries Creative Producer, with the Art Bike in Christchurch Park.
Sally Garwood, Suffolk Libraries Creative Communities Producer, and Liberty Brusaferro from Rock Paper Scissors, with the Art Bike in front of Christchurch Mansion.
Liberty and Sally with the Art Bike in Christchurch Park.

Across the weekend anyone taking part in activities will also have a chance to vote for their favourite name for the bike. Once it has an official new name, the bike will then be visiting libraries and community spaces across Ipswich in the future offering a wide range of fun and engaging creative activity on wheels.

Sally Garwood, Creative Communities Producer for Suffolk Libraries, said:

“We’re very excited to be working with Rock Paper Scissors to deliver this exciting new project which will enable us to reach more communities across Ipswich thanks to the county council funding. We’ve loads of fun and free activities planned for Suffolk Libraries Day and the Big Weekender so come along and see us!”

Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said:

“The Art Bike is a fantastic project to support young people to improve confidence, engage in activities and to promote healthy and sustainable travel. The project is part of the council’s Public Mental Health programme, which aims to support the things that keep us all mentally well in our day-to-day lives. These include activities that keep us moving and bring us together with other people from our communities.”

The pop-up library on Saturday 11 March will provide various activities including giving out free books and 'Love Your Library' merchandise as part of the Weekender. It will also help advertise the new St Elizabeth Hospice 'Moments' coffee shop in the town hall which is opening in the coming weeks.

Suffolk Libraries Day is the annual day of fundraising and celebration which takes place on Saturday 11 March to showcase the huge range of activities provided by Suffolk Libraries and the impact they make across communities.