Housebound residents need not have their reading material confined to free magazines that drop through their letterbox, says Rose Meredith, Home Library Service Volunteer Co-ordinator for Redbridge Libraries
Now the autumn is here, it’s that time of year when we start thinking about the gradual approach of winter and spending more time in the comfort of our own homes.
Some of our residents may start thinking about having falls and slips in icy winter weather, and this can make winter a time of staying at home a lot more, perhaps not having much of an opportunity to socialise.
This can happen at any stage of our lives, especially if we are recovering from illness or perhaps a fall, which has resulted in a temporary disability keeping us indoors.
The Redbridge Library Service – which is managed by Vision RCL on behalf of Redbridge Council – can help with your reading needs if something occurs in your life which, for any reason, means you are likely to be at home for the winter or for any longer period of time.
It might be that you have an operation and know it will take several months to feel yourself again and have the confidence to go out and about. Or it may be that you are at home on a more permanent basis and friends and neighbours are currently helping you but you are unable to reach your local library.
We run a volunteer service for anyone who is unable to get to a library and is either temporarily or long-term housebound.
Age is not a barrier; we deliver to all age groups. However, being a Redbridge resident is a requirement to receive this service, but it doesn’t matter if you own or rent in the borough.
A member of staff will visit you with a volunteer and will assess your reading needs with you – usually, we have great chats about books and about what you like to read and even what you have read in the past – this is all part of our service.
Then, your volunteer starts to get an idea about what you like to read – they visit you on an ‘as and when basis’ – you decide when you want more books and your volunteer will bring them into your home.
All of the library volunteers have been chosen for their roles because of their approachable and vibrant personalities and, of course, their love of libraries, books and reading.