Marian marks ten years volunteering for Sidmouth library-on-wheels

PUBLISHED: 18:30 31 January 2020

Marian Andrews.Picture: Home Library Service

Marian Andrews.Picture: Home Library Service

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A volunteer who has dedicated a decade of her life to helping housebound residents in Sidmouth has looked back on her time.

Marian Andrews told the Herald how she ended up spending 10 years volunteering for the Sidmouth Royal Voluntary Service [RVS].

Marian is one of a team of volunteers which helps housebound book lovers to be able to still read the latest novels by their favourite authors as part of the free home library service.

Marian said: "I'd been made redundant from work and was close to retirement age, so just a year before moving to Devon I volunteered for the WRVS Meals-on-Wheels in Hertfordshire.

"I enjoyed visiting lots of different people delivering lunches to mainly elderly and some housebound.

"So when I retired to Sidmouth, I offered my services here."

The meals-on-wheels had discontinued in the area, so Marian decided to volunteer for library-on-wheels instead.

Marian said: "This service was for the housebound who enjoyed reading, but couldn't get to the library themselves to choose their own books.

"Not being an avid reader myself I didn't think I'd be very good at it, but was encouraged by the organisation to give it a go.

"I found the staff at the library extremely helpful and, if you ask, they can usually point you in the right direction.

"If you have any problems finding a type of book required, you can easily ask the library staff to do a search on their website to request books from other libraries in the area.

"I had three clients to start with, all with different tastes in books - however, I soon got to know what books they particularly liked and those they didn't like.

"As time went on I found it quite easy to manage my own time by liaising with my clients as to when I would visit them to deliver and collect their library books.

"That was ten years ago and I have really enjoyed doing it.

"All the people I've met and helped have been amazing.

"They have all had very interesting lives and, as you get to know them, they will often talk about their past, some with really amazing stories to tell.

"In fact, as you get to know your client they become more like friends and it becomes less about the books and more about enjoying their company and spending time with them."

Visit devonlibraries.org.uk/web/arena/sidmouthlibrary for more information about the library-on wheels service.


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