Supporting the older generation

Funding level: Up to £1,000


The Friends of Coppice Library group was established in October 2014 in response to the local Council’s consultation in relation to the future of library services in Trafford. Whilst some libraries will close, Coppice has been saved by a bid to turn it into a community hub. The Friends Group are working with blueSCI (a health and well-being social enterprise) and other residents to retain library and information services for our community, as the recent consultation revealed that many people in our area cannot afford to travel into nearby town centres.
With over 2,300 residents aged 60 or over in the Ward (source: Office for National Statistics - ONS), the Friends Group are seeking £1,000 to host activities for elderly and vulnerable residents in the local community. Whilst we are planning a range of activities to be held on different days and times (including a knitting group, film group and, of course, reading groups) one of our key priorities would be to help the elderly and the vulnerable to understand the benefits and pitfalls of the internet, to provide them with access to computers and to make it easier for those residents to visit the library.
In 2014 the ONS published a report which confirmed that, for the 4 million households without internet access, the main problems were a lack of skills (32%), the high costs of equipment (12%) and the high costs of access (11%). Using library services and equipment can reduce those barriers. The attached graphics show that those aged over 65 are much less likely to use the internet daily and considerably less likely to use the internet for shopping or other services. Given the increased use of the internet by businesses and government, this trend is likely to prevent many of our elderly and vulnerable residents accessing the opportunities, skills and services they need.
Our project aims to make information, coaching and activities available, which will not only help reduce isolation and increase well-being for that elderly/vulnerable population but will also remove those obstacles, so they have the internet access they need and are able to use it.
Whilst we hope to fund many of the activities through volunteers and donations of craft materials, we would like to provide transport to bring the elderly to our library and to take them home again. This will really help because many have mobility problems and Coppice Library is located in a part of Trafford which is not well-served by public transport. The events would be advertised widely to the local community, using posters/leaflets (in doctor’s surgeries, churches and local shops) and newspaper articles.
We would negotiate rates with a local firm to provide a mini-bus service at times of the day when they are not busy (avoiding peak hours). We may also need to use some of the funding to support the activities themselves and for printing requirements.
We envisage this series of events as an important opportunity to ensure the elderly and vulnerable in our community fully understand the role of the library in 2015. As a key hub for information, benefit & blue badge enquiries, community activities and computer advice, the library also provides a wide range of services, including selling stamps, educational workbooks/posters and other stationery and gift items.
The attached graphic shows that in 2014 only 42% of adults over 65 used the internet daily. On this basis, we believe there will be a significant number of elderly residents in our Ward who remain unconnected. The £1,000 funding will allow us to host around 30 separate events, each with a minimum of 10 residents attending, improving the lives of over 300 local elderly people.
If, as we expect, the initial project is a success, we will seek additional funding to continue with the activities on an on-going basis.

Friends of Coppice Library

Moment of Pride

I am proud to be part of the future of Coppice Library and enjoy being a member of a passionate team who are working hard to bring benefits to the local community. We aim to reduce isolation and increase well-being for our elderly and most vulnerable residents, whilst we help them get connected.

Location: Sale