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Brew and banter: Libraries across Norfolk aim to end loneliness

PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 19:23 16 June 2017

North Walsham library in New Road car park is one of the venues. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

North Walsham library in New Road car park is one of the venues. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

Libraries across Norfolk are preparing to host what has been described as one of the biggest community celebrations the UK has ever seen in an effort to combat loneliness.

A series of events are being planned by Norfolk’s In Good Company campaign as part of The Great Get-Together over the weekend of June 16 to 18.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said loneliness affected so many different people in our communities.

She added: “We know that people who are lonely suffer worse health and are likely to be more dependent on public services than those who aren’t.

“In Good Company is designed to highlight the excellent work being done by numerous organisations and individuals, county-wide to tackle the problem, not least of which are our libraries which provide a warm welcome to citizens, day-in-day-out in the county.”

The highlight of the weekend will be the Big Lunch, funded by the National Lottery.

Jan Holden, who leads the In Good Company library service, said: “Since Norfolk launched In Good Company at the end of last year, our library service has more than doubled the number of regular activities we now put on which are suitable for isolated or lonely people.

“Our libraries run over 122 different In Good Company events including scrabble, chess, games, crafts, knit and knatter and reading and discussion groups. Our Great Get-Together events are a natural extension of our work to tackle loneliness.”

List of events - Friday, June 16: Tuckswood, strawberry tea; Hellesdon, coffee and vintage film. Saturday, June 17: Holt, coffee morning; Wells, coffee and games; Downham Market, brew and banter; Hunstanton, coffee morning; North Walsham, coffee morning; Stalham, coffee morning; Mundesley, coffee morning; Cromer, coffee morning; Sheringham, coffee morning; Mile Cross, plant sale; Acle, coffee and games; Gaywood, coffee and games; Great Yarmouth, coffee morning; Sprowston, coffee morning; Wroxham, community singing; Reepham, coffee and games; West Earlham, cake share and plant sale; Plumstead, coffee morning. Sunday, June 18: Aylsham, craft and coffee.

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