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Volunteer of the Year

1st June 2023
Volunteer of the Year

Every year, the first week of June is VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK. It's a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities – and to say thank you!

To mark the occasion, each year we nominate a Library Volunteer of the Year. This year the award goes to Jehanne Browning, who volunteers at La Nouvelle Maraitaine Community Library (LNMCL) every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Jehanne started volunteering at LNMCL after retiring from the Guille-Allès Library, where she’d worked for 10 years.

To thank Jehanne for her time and commitment, Jackie Burgess (Community & Wellbeing Lead) presented her with a certificate, flowers, and a voucher for tea and cake at The Kiln.

Jackie said: “Jehanne is an invaluable volunteer and is so dedicated. She’s a happy and friendly person who welcomes visitors to use the community library. She always goes the extra mile to ensure that library users have the best experience possible.”

Jehanne said: “I loved working at the Guille-Allès Library, and I didn’t want to stop. I started coming to the community library on a Tuesday and then eventually a Thursday too. It’s so nice to help people and to be recognised by people who come in. It’s much nicer than sitting around at home!”

 

Sharing expertise

The Library is supported by volunteers in a number of other ways, too. The Fab Lab is the Library’s creative space, providing community access to cutting-edge technology. Our volunteers teach others, sharing their knowledge and expertise on the high-tech machinery.

Experienced musician and producer Garry Minto has been teaching others how to record and mix their own music using professional software Logic Pro X. New volunteer Ebby is an experienced sewer and has been teaching people to use the sewing machine in the Fab Lab, so they can build confidence to start their own projects. These wonderful volunteers share their passion and knowledge with others and allow people to get the most from the Fab Lab.

We welcome volunteers from all sectors who have digital design software skills in 3D printing, graphic design, animation, photography, Adobe Creative Cloud apps and any other relevant design software, to share their skills with the wider community. If you’re interested in volunteering in the Fab Lab, dop us an email [email protected].

Providing support

Each summer we work with the charity Every Child Our Future (ECOF) who provide support for our Summer Reading Challenge. The Challenge is a fun way to engage children in reading, encouraging them to read six books over the break. ECOF coordinate volunteers from local businesses, who come into the Library to help children and families sign up to the Challenge and support their participation.

 

Gaining experience

Each year, we welcome a number of students who volunteer at the Library as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. The volunteering section is required for students to achieve their Bronze Award – helping other people and giving back to the community. Students commit a week to supporting the Library, chatting to customers, helping to shelve books, and learning about the Library’s role at the heart of the community. Young volunteer Ben wrote a blog about his experiences here.

 

A big thank you!

These volunteers bring their unique skills and passion to all parts of the Library service. They help people learn new things, support the smooth running of day-to-day Library activities, and are always on hand for a chat or a book recommendation. A big thank you to all those volunteers who make the Library what it is!

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