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A popular home library service, run by Royal Voluntary Service, the national volunteering organisation, is looking to grow its service for housebound readers in the Gillingham and Shaftesbury area.

The Home Library Service brings books to people who can no longer get to a library. It operates from most libraries in Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth.

Volunteers choose and/or deliver books and share their love of reading with the people they visit. They are a friendly face and a regular visitor to those whose mobility and social interactions are limited, and they provide a useful check on the safety and well-being of their readers, too.

Royal Voluntary ServiceOne of the service’s readers commented: ‘It is an excellent service; it’s a real delight when it is hard to get to the library oneself. The volunteer is so friendly, they may be the only person I shall see all day.’

Maria Jacobson, service manager for Dorset Home Library Service, said: ‘For people who enjoy reading or listening to an audio recording but find getting out of the house challenging, this service offers a vital link to the local library. The service enables them to carry on doing something they’ve always enjoyed and helps alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.’

The Home Library Service is delivered free of charge; it is not only for older people, but for anybody who finds getting to the library difficult, including carers.

Gillingham Home Library Service is currently looking for another volunteer to join their team, as well as a local coordinator; Shaftesbury Home Library Service is looking for a volunteer or two to get involved with the choosing and ordering of books and talking books.

To find out more or to request the service please contact the Royal Voluntary Service office on 01305 236666, or e-mail Maria on maria.jacobson@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk.

Alternatively you can speak to staff at your local library.

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