Shelia wants you to get involved to save Rutland libraries

Oakham Library volunteer Sheila Wilson who delivers books to people in their homes.
Oakham Library volunteer Sheila Wilson who delivers books to people in their homes.
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A DEDICATED volunteer is urging others to give up their time to help the county’s facilities survive.

Sheila Wilson, 74, of Burley Road, Oakham, became a volunteer at Oakham library about six years ago and has never looked back.

She is backing an appeal by Rutland County Council to find more volunteers for the four libraries in the county, Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle.

The cultural services budget is being cut by £100,000 over the next two years as the council strives to save £4m and council leader Roger Begy says volunteers are key to securing the future of the libraries.

Mrs Wilson saw her volunteer role advertised with Voluntary Action Rutland and she was looking for something to occupy her time.

Her job is to collect books from the library in Catmos Street, which have already been chosen by staff, and deliver them to people in their homes, who are unable to make it to the library.

Mrs Wilson said: “I was thinking I would quite like to do something with my time and when I saw the poster I thought it would be ideal and I’ve been doing it ever since.

“I do enjoy it and find it very rewarding.

“I like meeting the people and as well as getting their books, they also like to see people and talk to you. I’ve been delivering to one lady for four years and I now know her quite well.”

Mrs Wilson said it is a rewarding job considering she gives up just a few hours of her time a month. People who use the service receive their deliveries fortnightly and Mrs Wilson alternates with another volunteer so she gives up just one morning a month unless the other volunteer is on holiday.

She said: “It works quite well because we are able to cover for each other and all the volunteers have a coffee get together a couple of times a year.” Mrs Wilson said she would urge other people to volunteer.

She said: “I would definitely recommend volunteering to people as a worthwhile thing to do. I think the people you help do really appreciate it and it is something I enjoy.”

Currently there are 30 volunteers in the libraries working alongside paid staff.

From Monday, the hours will be cut at the libraries in Oakham, Uppingham and Ryhall, but thanks to support from Ketton Parish Council the hours haven’t been chopped at Ketton library.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities phone the council on 01572 722577 or visit www.rutland.gov.uk