Cambridgeshire’s Library@Home volunteers receive The Queens Award for Voluntary Service

24 June 2022

Library@Home volunteers provide a lifeline to people who cannot get out to their local library and also provide a watchful eye on physical and mental health well-being of their customers.

The volunteers select books/audiobooks thoughtfully chosen according to each reader's preference. These are then taken to the home visit where volunteers and readers have a friendly chat, talking about books and life in general.

Being a volunteer takes a special kind of person, someone who has a great ear for listening and can engage people well in conversation. The service is on the lookout for new recruits so they are hoping this award will encourage people to step forward to help.

If you are interested in volunteering, please read more at the Library at home page.

One of the volunteers says, “…I have always loved reading, so it seemed a natural fit after a long career in the NHS to become a volunteer with the Library at Home service and I have been volunteering for this service for 18 years now.

“During this time, I have had the privilege of getting to know some amazing people - from the gardener of a national celebrity to a retired diplomat and his wife and taking in a tractor driver and former WREN on the way.

“They have all welcomed me into their homes and happily passed on their book tastes and what people value at least as much as the books is the opportunity to have a chat with someone.”

Cambridgeshire’s Library@Home service is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, nationwide to receive the prestigious award this year.

Later this summer volunteers and library staff will receive a crystal award and certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and then in May 2023 two lucky volunteers of the Library@Home service will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace along with other recipients of the 2022 Awards.

Cllr Tom Sanderson, chair of Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion said: ”Our library service is second to none and always puts residents right at the very heart of all we do. We constantly listen to how we can serve them better and it is with immense pride that we have been so prestigiously acknowledged with this great award.

“I urge anyone who is interested in joining us as a volunteer to come forward. Please go to our website to find out more details.”