Residents are very happy with Dorset’s Home Library Service with a satisfaction rating of 99 per cent of customers.
A recent survey revealed that customers particularly like the chat at the doorstep and befriending phone calls from volunteers, which have been offered in place of home visits during the pandemic.
Dorset Library Service commissions the Royal Voluntary Service to provide the resource for customers who are unable to access their local library on a temporary or long term basis.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, volunteers would deliver books and chat to customers during regular home visits. However, due to restrictions during the first lockdown, this was halted temporarily. The service was able to return to delivering books to customers’ doors in summer last year, with some volunteers also keeping in touch with regular phone calls to customers.
The service continues to offer doorstep deliveries and as restrictions ease, it’s expected the service will be able to return to home visits, where this is the customer’s preferred choice.
Maria Jacobson, Royal Voluntary Service Manager for Dorset and BCP Home Library Services said: “This report clearly shows the impact the Home Library Service has on the lives of our clients, and how much they appreciate both the delivery of books, talking books, and the regular contact and visits from their volunteers. This has not changed during COVID-19; in fact its importance has grown.
“Similarly, our Home Library Service volunteers often talk about the joy and sense of satisfaction they experience when delivering the books, visiting and talking to their readers. Giving back something to their local community, and helping to make somebody else’s life better, is a strong motivator for them.
“We currently have 139 active volunteers delivering books to the doorstep of 400 clients. The majority of our volunteers are between 65 and 80 years old, volunteering is a means to staying active and involved in community life.”
Councillor Jill Haynes, portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services at Dorset Council said: “We are really pleased with the results of the survey. It confirms the Home Library Service is making a big difference to people’s lives.
“We hope the positive feedback will help to encourage even more eligible residents to get in touch and make the most of this valuable service.”
To find out more about the Home Library Service, contact the Royal Voluntary Service on 01305 236666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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