The first piece of good news is that we are all delighted after many years of lobbying NYCC, that at last the road surface in front of the Library has been put back to an acceptable standard. This has been a difficult issue as actually the road is owned by 9 different people, so NYCC have had to step in and cover the whole cost for now and hope they can recoup the various shares later. Well done NYCC for doing the right thing!
The imminent arrival of Sherburn & Villages Community Library on 1st April is starting to feel real, as we put in place the final plans to ensure we have a team of trained volunteers to run the Library.
The second training course has now completed and the next 4 courses all start from week commencing 27th February. By the end of March all of our volunteers will have received their initial training.
We have allocated all the volunteers to their shifts and appointed team leaders. We are meeting with the Team Leaders on 22nd February and there is a social event for all the volunteers on 14th March.
We are close to finalising the Lease and Service Level Agreement with North Yorkshire and everything is on track.
If anyone else would like to join our group of volunteers, you would be very welcome. Just get in touch at the Library or e-mail email@example.com.
The scheduling of the volunteers did highlight a problem with regard to staffing the long shift on a Thursday afternoon. Having reviewed the usage of the library during the period 5pm to 6pm, we have decided to close the Library at 5pm on a Thursday, in line with other afternoon opening. We appreciate that there is a need for evening opening to meet the requirements of working people who are not back in the village at 5pm. But, it has been found that the take-up for the hour from 5pm to 6pm is very low. If we are to have evening opening, it needs to be to a later time. We will review this decision once we are operational and have had a chance to thoroughly review the needs of library users.
The Old Girls’ School
We have now received the draft lease from NYCC and we are actively planning the project to take over the OGS as well as applying for funding.
We now have enough volunteers to confidently say we can staff the library from when we open on 1st April. However if anyone else would like to join us, you would be very welcome. Just get in touch at the Library or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Training has started for the first set of volunteers. 12 keen volunteers have already learned about Customer Service, Events, Health & Safety and how to use the Self-Serve machine. This is from the first of 4 half day courses. We are arranging a social event for volunteers in March to allow everyone to get to know each other before we embark upon our exciting journey.
We have had a meeting with NYCC to discuss the alterations to the first floor which will need to take place to provide clear space for the Library and other users of the building. This is unlikely to happen until at least June or July. In addition to the Library we will have 3 rooms upstairs which we can use for the Community Hub or to rent out.
We are looking to strengthen our team of IT Buddies as a number of the volunteers are keen to use their IT skills to help the community. We are applying for a grant which would allow us to run short courses in the library to allow people to increase their confidence in accessing digital technologies such as internet shopping, applying for Road Fund Tax or TV Licence, saving money on energy, and accessing on-line support for CV writing.
We are investigating options for service of refreshments at the Library as we understand that users want to have a place to sit with a cup of coffee to read the paper or a book.
We have not yet finalised the lease or the service level agreement with NYCC but discussions are ongoing.
The Old Girls’ School
We are now looking at taking over the lease from 1st April. Obviously there is lots of work to do before we can open and we are looking at scheduling the programme of works. We would like the Old School to be open by the summer so the Craft & Food Festival which is being held over the August Bank Holiday weekend will have access to its much needed facilities.
We had some very successful fund raising at the end of last year. In the last 3 months alone we raised over £2,600. Thanks to everyone who has supported us through attending events or buying the Sherburn Calendar. We have some more plans for the spring, so watch this space.
We are continuing our recruitment process for volunteers to run the library from 1st April 17. There has been a very good response from the community and we will start our training from January.
The Community Library is still looking for residents who can spare a couple of hours each week or fortnight and who want to contribute to their community, make new friends and be at the centre of local events. If you think you might be able to help then information is available at the Library or you can email for information – email@example.com.
We are still in discussion with North Yorkshire County Council as to the exact areas of the building which we will be taking over but we hope to be able to finalise the lease in January.
We have visited all the Parish Councils whose residents use the Library and have been delighted by their support for the Community Library. Some even got their cheque books out straight away!
The Old Girl’s School
Excellent news from the application for the Tesco Bags of Help grant and the subsequent voting in the village. Our project to create a Community Garden was awarded the 1st prize with a grant of £12,000. Thanks to everyone who voted for us.
The Pamper Night in November was a success raising £267. The Calendars are selling like hot cakes and we have had to arrange for additional copies to be printed. Last few available at £5, either from the Library or Forget Me Not.
Our last fund raiser of the year is the Disco at the Social Club on December 9th. Please come and support us.
Great news that not only have we been successful with our application for a grant from TESCO Bags of Help but our project was voted by local Tesco customers to receive the highest award of £12,000.
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The scheme has seen three community groups and projects in each region awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.
The public voted in store to decide which local groups should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards, 2,421 organisations from Tesco’s 400 regions up and down the UK will receive a share of the Bags of Help fund.
This will enable us to develop and landscape the area to the front of the Old Girl’s School and improve the access.
Our Business Plan has been approved by NYCC so we just need to agree the terms for the lease. The building could be ours by early 2017!
We have applied for two grants this month, one for the replacement of the windows and one for equipment for the Community Café. We are hoping to hear on both before Christmas. Fingers crossed.
We need to do lots of fund raising for the Old School and two events are planned this year.
Pamper Night – 25th November 7pm at the Methodist Church
Xmas Boogie Disco – 9th December at Elmet Social Club
Please come and support us.
North Yorkshire County Council have proposed the following timescale for granting a lease to the Trust for the Old Girl’s School:
Submission of a business case by the Trust by 22nd August
Notification of acceptance of the business case by 6th September
Transfer of the property by 30th November
Occupation of the property by the Trust from 1st December
The Trustees are committed to do everything possible to achieve this timetable.
The Trust submitted its Business Plan to North Yorkshire County Council in June.
It was considered by the Assessment Panel on the 7th July who recommended that the Council should now proceed with detailed negotiations with the Trust to take over responsibility for the library.
The panel commented that they were impressed with the Plan and it’s accompany appendices, which demonstrate the ambition of the group for the library and the local community, recognising that a library is more than just the books.