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Chantry Library given £15,000 makeover

PUBLISHED: 15:13 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 15 July 2019

Chantry Library has been given a £15,000 refurbishment. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

Chantry Library has been given a £15,000 refurbishment. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

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A popular Ipswich library described as a "pillar of its community" has been given a £15,000 refurbishment to help it continue providing vital public services.

Chantry Library has been given a £15,000 refurbishment. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIESChantry Library has been given a £15,000 refurbishment. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

Large parts of the work at Chantry Library, which has been open for 52 years, were paid for by its Friends group of volunteers who fundraised for the improvements.

The Friends of Chantry Library spent £892 on a new carpet for the children's area, £371.31 on new black out blinds and £2,190 of painting of walls inside the premises.

New furniture worth £11,906.30 in total was paid for out of Suffolk County Council's library reserve fund.

Suffolk Libraries, which runs the facility in Hawthorn Drive, said Chantry Library had been a "pillar of its local community with its active efforts to reach out to the generations through a range of events and activities".

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In particular it highlighted three activities over the past year which have made a difference - the Forget-Me-Not Cafes, its Lego club for people with additional needs and the young people's open space.

Of the Forget-Me-Not Cafes, which run from 10.30am to noon on the last Friday of every month, Chantry Library manager Vicki Mann said: "Dementia doesn't just affect a person but their families as well, the people around them.

"We set up these cafes to allow people to come in, have a coffee and a biscuit and give people a chance to socialise and have fun. It's important not to feel alone in those times."

The Lego club on Sundays between 1pm and 2pm "allows people with additional needs to communicate with others in a relaxed environment, which is important for improving skills and decreasing loneliness", Ms Mann said.

And of the open space, she said: "We saw that there was definitely a need for a safe space for young people to go. Somewhere where they feel they have a network, share resources and feel empowered."

Chantry Library will also be running a four-day film-making workshop over the summer for 10 to 18-year-olds to learn tech skills and the art of film production.

The library also holds a series of children's events, older people's events, reading groups, language courses, arts, crafts, games, health and wellbeing events and more.

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