The Warm Welcome campaign is launching today (13 November) which is World Kindness Day.
Warm Welcome builds on the success of last year’s kindness campaign with all Suffolk libraries acting as warm spaces and many offering hot drinks and kindness racks offering free donated quality clothing. The East of England Co-op has kindly donated £1,000 of vouchers to enable libraries to offer free hot drinks again this year.
Suffolk Libraries has also teamed up with BBC Radio Suffolk to launch a ‘Be Kind to a Kid’ appeal for donations of new toys which can be donated to any of our 45 libraries. The appeal will run from 13 November to 8 December and the toys will then be passed on to families who might be struggling during the cost of living crisis and would benefit from an extra Christmas present this year.
As always, Suffolk’s libraries will also be there to provide many other free services which can make a huge difference to people during these tough times:
- Warm spaces – Anyone is welcome to visit the library just to keep warm and find someone to talk to. You don’t have to take part in an activity or be borrowing something, it’s ok just to come in to get out of the cold and be around people
- Libraries offer a huge range of free activities for children, families and older adults. They’re a great way to meet people and make new friends
- All libraries have free computer and wi-fi access which can be a lifeline for those without access at home who need to look for a job, apply for benefits or just look for help or support online
- The Pride & Periods service offers free menstrual items from many libraries
- At the heart of everything on offer are the helpful, expert staff who can signpost you to other organisations if you need specialist help or advice
- Everything at Suffolk Libraries is centred around improving people’s wellbeing with drop-in sessions, books and information and even a menopause support programme
- Each library has its own locally tailored services.
Bruce Leeke, Suffolk Libraries Chief Executive, said:
“Last year we were one of the first library services to announce we’d be offering warm spaces for people during the winter months alongside a wide range of support for people. We offer a variety of countywide services complimented by targeted local initiatives designed to meet community need. This could be cheap fresh fruit and veg in urban Ipswich right through to free hygiene products in some of our rural sites.”
“We’ve heard heartwarming feedback about the difference our charity makes with staff using their local knowledge to support people in many different ways. It might be a low cost recipe book recommendation, peer wellbeing support at one of our regular groups, a listening ear and kind word or free device charging. We pride ourselves on being there when people need us.
“Our charity works at the heart of almost every major community in Suffolk and with our dozens of partners we want to make life better for people across the county. Warmth, practical support and most of all kindness will be on offer in libraries across Suffolk this winter.”
For more information, visit our Warm Welcome webpage and find out what each library is offering during the colder months.