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Welsh Libraries at the Beating Heart of their Communities

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Welsh Libraries are doing their bit for a happier and healthier Wales with the launch of a new campaign to promote the nation’s wellbeing.

Living Well in Wales is a nationwide initiative that brings together public libraries and partner organisations to highlight the important role libraries play at the heart of their local communities  and promote the thousands of events and activities promoting health and wellbeing held in libraries each year.

Focussing on four key awareness campaigns, the initiative will shine the spotlight on the wealth of resources relating to health and wellbeing  on offer in public libraries as well as the part these facilities have to play  as social hubs in their communities, helping to combat isolation, particularly amongst the older generation, as well as promoting community participation.

Welsh Libraries have teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote activities and resources during Dementia Action Week (May 20 – 26) to raise awareness and enable communities to make small changes that can support people with dementia to live well.

In September (11-17), the campaign will support Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Know Your Numbers! Week by hosting events and promoting information that encourages people to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to maintain healthy numbers.

The British Dyslexia Association is the key partner for raising awareness during National Dyslexia Week (October 2- 8) while Mind, Time to Change Wales and The Samaritans will work with Welsh Libraries on Blue Monday, January 21, to encourage people  to try something new to improve their physical and mental wellbeing on the supposedly ‘most depressing day of the year’.

Vice-Chair of the Society of Chief Librarians (Cymru) and Lead Library & Strategy Manager at Cardiff Council, Nicola Pitman, said:

“Libraries are the perfect places to deliver a range of health and wellbeing benefits to local communities.

“They are an excellent resource both in terms of the all the information and materials they have on offer but also, as a hub or focal point in their neighbourhood where people can get together for events or activities beneficial to their wellbeing.

“The Living Well in Wales campaign seeks to celebrate our public libraries and encourage people to get more out of their local facility. We’re delighted to be working with fantastic partners to promote this important agenda to help people live well in our communities.”

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said:

“Our hubs and libraries are trusted community spaces with skilled and knowledgeable staff that can provide people with help and assistance to access health and wellbeing information, signposting to support services and access to social activities.

“In Cardiff, we’re delighted to be on board with the Living Well in Wales campaign and look forward to delivering events and activities in our hubs and libraries throughout the year to help build healthier local communities.”

For more information about the Living Well in Wales campaign, please contact Andrea Currie, Cardiff Council Media & Communications team on 02920 873107 or email: [email protected]