Libraries offer ‘bags of wellbeing’

Libraries in Craven are piloting a scheme that offers bags of support for people’s health and wellbeing.

County Council staff and local health organisations celebrate the launch of Wellbeing Bags at Skipton library

Wellbeing Bags contain resources such as self-help books, colouring books, recipes, puzzles, a relaxation CD and health information and advice to encourage people to look after themselves and enhance their mental wellbeing.

Anyone can borrow a Wellbeing Bag free for three weeks using their library card. The bags can be used by individuals or groups at home, in the library or in the community. For example, several people could work together on a jigsaw, promoting social interaction.

The bags were developed through a Dragon’s Den-style exercise among North Yorkshire County Council library service staff members, who were asked to devise innovative ideas to improve the service, with the best going before a panel of county councillors and officers. Wellbeing Bags have been developed by outreach librarians Catherine Barlow and Alison Wheat, supported by colleagues.

The bags are being trialled in Craven libraries, following a launch at Skipton library, with the intention of extending the scheme to other parts of the county after considering initial feedback.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Libraries have an important role to play in promoting the health and wellbeing of all our residents and we are very pleased to be able to launch this innovative and worthwhile project.”

Ask at your local library for more details.

This story was published 26 November 2018