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Library staff continue to support Bucks residents during lockdown

Many members of staff are working in Local Support Hubs during the pandemic

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 1:55pm 14th May 2020. 3-minute read.

Library staff continue to support Bucks residents during lockdown

Despite libraries being closed the staff are keeping busy helping local people. 

As Buckinghamshire libraries remain closed during the coronavirus lockdown, the staff are doing what they can to help vulnerable residents through Local Support Hubs. 

Online resources have been increased, include services like ancestry tracing, with the hopes new and existing members make use of them. 

However, staff across the county have also joined the cross-council effort to support vulnerable people during the lockdown. 

Micheline Katt is an area manager for library services, and it now working in the Marlow Local Support Hub. 

She explains what self titled "Hubbies" like her do:

Shielding is when a resident has been told to stay at home for a period by the government, as they are more likely to catch coronavirus and for the symptoms to be severe.

For these people the support, advice and interaction provided by Hubs, neighbours, friends and family is vital.

Marlow Hub activities

Micheline believes people have been brought closer together as a result of the pandemic, she says:

"The community is strong. The community is better.

"Local residents have come together to form support groups, people are doing befriending calls, people who are delivering hot meals, that's really been lovely to hear.

"These are people who might not have known their neighbours in the street but they're willing to go out and do shopping for them. 

"I've learnt a lot about my local community, I didn't realise the reach and all that we had to offer."

Although the primary function of the Hubs is to make sure the vulnerable are able to access necessities like food and medicines, they have become something far more wide reaching. 

'Hubbies' are also there to help each other, with checks in place to make sure those giving their time to support others are also supported.

Marlow Hub worker
Marlow 'Hubbies'

Cllr Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member Communities & Public Health commented:

"I'm really proud of how our staff have risen to the challenge. I think staff are getting just as much out of this as residents, and hopefully our new connections in the community will continue to thrive after life begins to return to normal."

Across the Local Support Hubs a team of volunteers are working to help people, and other organisations linked to them are trying to ensure no person is left without support. 

For more information on the Hubs, including how you can help visit their website, or watch Buckinghamshire Council video from March.

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