Work with Carers
This is a summary of Southend Libraries' work with carers, provided by Simon Wallace in response to an enquiry (and reproduced here with kind permission).
"Southend's demographic, and proximity to London, means as a retirement area approximately 10% of the town are Carers (17,000) so it is potentially a huge audience for us. There are also significant numbers of Young carers, Young Adult Carers and Parent Carers in the borough.
We support Carer's Week and Carer's Rights day and invite partners along to events that we feel would be of benefit or interest to Carers and the people they support.
Some things we have worked on include:
- Hosting free IT sessions for Carers in The Forum (we provide the venue and IT) and light-touch staff support
- Offering free Library Discovery tours for Carers and groups - again at the new Forum building
- Promoting Mood boosting books (a mental health Carers Reading Group we support contributed reviews to the original Reading Agency lists)
- Working with Dementia agencies to deliver dementia friends slots and also going along to meet carers at Dementia café sessions run by local Alzheimer's Society, etc
- Promoting Quick Reads and the Six Book Challenge, World Book Night to Carers and events such as Southend Soup
- Developed a free online Carer Aware resource
- Developed cancer information collections and working with a new Macmillan cancer information centre based in the hospital – directing and informing carers of local support and advice etc
- Libraries belong to 1 in 4, a mental health collective of support agencies - again it is about networking and ensuring carers are aware of services
- In addition we work in partnership with a wide range of local groups in community settings and my role is very pro-active in the community promoting libraries and potential partnerships.