£5.6k boost for ‘lifeline’ Isle of Man mobile library – BBC News

A “lifeline” library project on the Isle of Man is to expand its service after receiving more than £5,600 from the Manx Lottery.

Each month the Mobile Library visits about 130 people at home, some of whom are unable to leave their houses.

Manager Sally Hardman described the donation as “wonderful” and said it would “double” the library’s audio book budget.

Money will also go towards funding the project’s bibliotherapy scheme.

After the government pulled funding in 2012, the Mobile Library was saved from closing by local businessmen and has since been run as a charity.

In addition to its weekly trips around the island, staff members make one-on-one visits to more vulnerable residents.

There are some “who won’t get a visit from anyone else” other than health visitors, said Mrs Hardman, adding “we’re a bit of the outside that comes in”.

In conjunction with the visits, staff also do personal bibliotherapy sessions.

Developed in 2016 with funding from Manx Lottery, the project aims to combat loneliness and isolation through books, poetry, photographs and “memory boxes”.

It also runs up to 14 monthly group sessions in retirement and care homes.

The grant money will go towards purchasing more memory boxes and books, as well as paying for basics such as vehicle running costs and promotional materials.

Betty Smallhorn, 79, who attends sessions, said they were “important” and provide “companionship”.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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