Norfolk's public library service has been awarded CILIP's Libraries Change Lives Award for its "healthy" initiative.
The programme promotes healthy living countrywide and targets the county's most serious health priorities through the Norfolk library network.
Working in partnership with Norfolk Public Health, the Healthy Libraries initiative is delivered across Norfolk’s 47 libraries. Its group wellbeing activities include a monthly wellbeing or nutrition themed ‘neighbourhood lunch’ and adult colour-me-calm sessions. Exercise based activity has included hula hoop challenges and a pedal-powered smoothie bike, used to raise awareness of the benefits of the government-recommended target of consuming five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Norfolk’s winning library service and two finalists, Sefton Libraries and Renfrewshire Leisure, were recognised at Leeds City Museum on Thursday (29th September). A £4,000 prize to support the work has been awarded to Norfolk Libraries by CILIP.
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the communities sommittee at Norfolk County Council, congratulated the "wonderfully committed and hard-working" staff in libraries and public health. "We want everyone to live well and for longer", Dewsbury said. "People are not alone in achieving their goals – we’re here to help by providing information and support at their local library, at the heart of their community, so people can make healthier choices, not just for themselves but for their whole family.”
Chair of judges, John Vincent, said: "What’s really striking is the flexibility of the library service and its capacity to contribute to the local health strategy and extend public health awareness in a way that works for the community, with this work embedded in every single library. Norfolk Council and Norfolk Public Health are making sensible use of the unique strengths of the library service, including unmatched community reach, a trusted and accessible environment for a wide range of activities, and a highly trained workforce who can work in partnership to deliver real change across the county.”