Thanet libraries receive Know Your Neighbourhood £85k grant


Libraries in Thanet are part of a major new initiative to create volunteering opportunities and support those experiencing loneliness.

An £85,000 grant will allow Thanet libraries to run a range of activities and events over the course of the next year. Examples of the activities include walking and gardening for wellbeing, children’s craft activities, menopause cafes, family learning support events and social prescribing.

The Know Your Neighbourhood project is a national initiative aiming to widen participation in volunteering and tackle loneliness in 27 disadvantaged areas across England. Thanet libraries have received a share of £2.5 million of the £30 million fund other recipients include museums, arts organisations and charities.

A key focus of the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund will be to generate evidence on how people in disadvantaged areas can best be supported to volunteer and improve their social connections.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Clair Bell, said: “Our libraries are warm, welcoming places that anyone can access. They are ideal locations to deliver activities that bring people and communities together, improve wellbeing and offer a real sense of enjoyment.

“I would encourage anyone to give their local library a visit and if interested in learning more about our offers to speak to a member of our team in Thanet to find out more about how they can take part and even volunteer.”


  1. I truthfully cannot remember the last time I used ,the library in margate,I stopped completely when TDC,moved in and the peace and quiet went,used to borrow books dvds and cds.

  2. Why can’t people just quietly read a book or research? In Broadstairs library, they even have a toddler group banging drums!

  3. A menopause cafe is a place where women of a certain age go to socialise and enjoy each others company, must have got the idea from seeing men of a certain age with testosterone issues playing golf and sitting in pubs.

  4. I don’t think anyone would call you modern, Pinkie old girl. Unless Dr Who kidnapped you and whisked you back to 1965 in his Tardis. But as that is now gay and woke, you’d be so shocked that you’d emerge 59 years in the past with white hair. By the way, our local libraries are brilliant places. Yes they’ve changed since 1965 too. They do have computers but there are people who don’t have access at home. Birchington Library especially has wonderful, helpful staff, and is a “hub” (horrible word) for lonely and elderly people. And it does still have books, contrary to some comments. There’s an excellent selection of children’s books (how many kids have books at home these days?), and access for all to a wider catalogue. All free, paid for by a fraction of a penny of our council tax (which someone is doubtless going to grumble about on here). So let’s welcome that grant, and hope it hasn’t come from Rishi’s helicopter budget, in case he has to make a one way train journey again.

    • Let’s divide the money each library receives by it’s footfall and see how much we are subsidising the few who use the library.

      It’s a bit like dividing the NHS budget by the numbers receiving care due to obesity.

      It’s also a bit like dividing the cost of making my building disabled accessible by the amount of people who need disabled access (disabled customers = zero).

  5. Those complaining about the multi use of libraries need to understand that libraries, as a repository of books, are not used as much as they used to be. Having extra services keeps them open. It’s a choice between that or no library. Silent libraries, as they were when I was young, are not how things are now. You can do more research on your phone in ten minutes than a library. So they need to become multi use. I would rather that than they were sold off

  6. Well said, Dustin. If we can’t find a few quid from public funds to keep our libraries open, then we are in an even more sorry state than I thought. And yes, I do use my library, and currently have several books on loan (all non fiction, mostly about British history, and including a biography of Winston Churchill, so hopefully Ms Pink will approve). So do yourselves and your brains a favour, go and borrow some books, and help keep the service going. I think overweight brats banging drums are not a regular feature. In fact I generally find Birchington Library has a quiet but friendly and relaxed vibe.

  7. They should try spending the money on the crumbling building in Westgate. The wood (windows and soffit boards are rotting away).

    How long before they close the library due to the building being uninhabitable? Is this the long term plan?

    I saw three people in there last Saturday and one of those was staff.

    If children don’t have books at home then that is soley the fault of rotten parenting.

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