Express & Star

How library hub is helping to address loneliness and isolation

Residents in Hednesford are visiting the town's library to help take care of their mental health and address loneliness and isolation.


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Run by volunteers, the Cannock Chase Mental Health Hub is an integral part of activities at Hednesford Library, in Market Street, in Hednesford, which attracts up to 100 visitors per day.

The library hosts a variety of community activities for residents of all ages including parent and babies, school visits, art and history groups plus elderly interest groups.

During Mental Health Week the library promoted the hub's new directory titled 'Something for Everyone - Time to Talk Day Legacy' which contains contacts and helpful advice. It is now being made available at all libraries in the district.

Hednesford Library's volunteer co-ordinator Mrs Liz Williams said: "We are in effect a drop-in facility where we have people coming all the time. It's not just about coming in to read books or use the computers. We have a lot of group sessions running here.

"We are addressing a lot of people's loneliness in this way and simply meeting their needs. Examples of these are supporting young mums, we have 'knit and natter' groups whose members tend to be older people and this week we had a group of history hunters visiting.

"They bring in old Hednesford photos and people reminisce about things which have happened in the town in the past.

"The local police also came in, we also run Places of Welcome and a credit union service which offers a range of banking services and low cost loans for people to get financial advice.

"Hednesford is blessed because residents work well together and this also supports what we do."

Mental Health Week also featured 'George' the elephant mascot which relates to a project set up by Lynn Evans of the Hednesford Park group, who attended a town centre podcast event in a pink costume to highlight that the issue can be described as the elephant in the room.

Jacquie Prestwood and Liz Williams with the Cannock Chase Mental Health Hub book and mascot

Other activities included Friends of Hednesford Volunteers who led a craft activity workshop to create decorations ahead of the 80th anniversary of D-Day next month, plus a visit from West Hill Primary School pupils.

The Place of Welcome network meets every Wednesday at 11am-12.30.

The premises is open Mondays and Fridays 9am-5pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9am-3pm and Thursdays 9am-1pm.

Upcoming guests include South Staffs Water advisors on May 29 from 10am-1pm.

More details about the Cannock Chase Mental Health Hub are available by phoning 01543-422798. Mental Health Week is held in May 13-19.

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