West Sussex Volunteer Newsletter - April 2021

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West Sussex Volunteer Newsletter

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Dear Volunteer,

Hopefully you have already seen our latest customer newsletter confirming that all 36 libraries in West Sussex will reopen for browsing during the week beginning Monday 12 April. The newsletter also includes what to expect during your visit and includes some useful hints and tips

We are really looking forward to welcoming customers back into our buildings again and this is our first step to gradually increase our services, whilst managing safety measures required for both customers and staff. Although some of our volunteer roles have continued throughout lockdown (Home Library Direct and Remote Digital Support) we hope that one of our next steps will be to consider how library volunteers can return safely to library buildings. 

We will continue to keep you up to date with any changes and I will let you know as soon as we have more information.

In the meantime, if you are a Home Library Direct Volunteer and would like to resume your deliveries from 12 April, please let me know so that we can update our records.   

Many thanks and I hope to see some of you very soon! 

Christine Broggi - Principal Librarian Volunteering

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Bereavement Awareness and Support

Throughout Wellbeing Month, 16 volunteers joined library staff for a number of "virtual" bereavement awareness sessions.

Feedback from the sessions has been really positive and the Library Service has now launched a new bereavement support webpage to provide practical information, a range of different resources and sources of support for anyone who has been affected by loss and bereavement.  

"Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to attend the bereavement and loss session today. It is going to be useful for me straight away and I’m happier, having learned from it, for the future"

"Thank you for including me in the training on loss and bereavement. It was a very useful course and libraries are in such a central position in the community to really help"

A recording will soon be available for any volunteers who were unable to attend one of the sessions. More information to follow shortly.

Thank You

West Sussex Volunteer Survey

The 2021 West Sussex Volunteer Survey is now closed!

Thank you to everyone that completed the survey. In total we had 328 responses from volunteers across all West Sussex Services.

I am really pleased to say that 109 (33.2%) of these were from Library Service Volunteers!

Thank you so much for taking part and we really appreciate every individual volunteer contribution and opinion. The results will now be collated and shared with each service to help us continually improve our volunteer programme.

We will also be sharing some of the headlines with you during Volunteers' Week (1-7 June). So watch this space!

Census Support

Census support in West Sussex libraries

If you haven’t completed your census form, there is still time! West Sussex Libraries are part of the National Census Support Service. Library staff are available to help residents who live in Adur, Worthing, Arun and Chichester to complete their census forms online.

As libraries are currently not open for browsing, until 12 April, we can complete the form for you over the phone. To book an appointment with one of our staff, who are all trained Census Support Advisors, phone 0330 222 3455 between 10.00am – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

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Virtual Reading Groups

In our last volunteer newsletter, we asked you to let us know whether your group has ventured into the world of virtual meetings. Thank you for all your emails, here is a small selection of your comments and ideas to inspire others!

"If a member of your group doesn’t use Zoom, why not give them a ring and have a book chat on the phone on the same day that you would normally meet."

"We have a couple of people who were hesitant at first but are regular participants now. We also have two members who write reviews and e mail them so that I can still read them out at the meeting."

"I had never even heard of Zoom before lockdown so I have learnt a lot too. I still don't know how to host a meeting but one member of the group does it for us and it is easy to join! It is nice to keep in touch in this way and I think we look forward to the chat each month!"

"There are nine of us in the group and, apart from one of our members, who doesn’t have access to the internet, we have been meeting each month on Zoom since April last year. It’s been good for us to keep in touch this way, and we have enjoyed being able to continue our meetings."

Don't worry if your group hasn't taken the virtual leap yet. Here is a guide to help you to get started or if you would like some support from one of our friendly digital volunteers, please contact 0330 222 3455 or email library.digital.support@westsussex.gov.uk   

Keep West Sussex Safe