Reading Well: Books on Prescription

Reading Well: Books on PrescriptionThe Westminster Libraries launch of the Reading Agency ‘Books on Prescription’ scheme took place at Church Street Library yesterday,  cheered on its way with blue sky, sunshine and matching yellow and blue helium balloons!

Books on Prescription launched nationally yesterday evening. It is part of the Reading Agency Reading Well offer made to libraries in partnership with Society of Chief Librarians and Department of Health.

Sylwia and Vivienne at the Books on Prescription launch, Church Street Library, June 2013The launch was attended by over fourteen health partner and community organisations. The majority had information stalls in the Church Street Library community space; the NHS health Improvement team and the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) teams welcomed visitors on the ground floor and directed them to the free massage sessions, information stalls and sandwiches and fruit kebabs.

Rachel at the Books on Prescription launch, Church Street Library June 2013The event was attended by representatives of Patient Participation groups, Councillor Louise Hyams, Councillor Barbara Grahame, Chris Lloyd (Community Development Manager Triborough Libraries) and Anna Waterman, the Public Health manager responsible for commissioning the Health Information Project in Westminster Libraries. Vic Stewart, manager of Church Street Library, introduced the speakers.

Rachel Barratt, our Bookstart Co-ordinator, shared a stall with the Kickstart team (early years nutrition and development) and Danielle from Open Age and Rachel from the Penfold Hub brought along information for over 50s.

Baffour from Mind and Chris from Triborough Libraries at the Books on Prescription launch in Church Street Library, June 2013Mind had a card making stall – see representative Baffour with Chris in front of the BOP display in the foyer of Church Street Library. There were representatives of the BME forum, Migrant’s Resource Centre, Mosaic Trust, the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster memory Service, the Wellbeing Service, CLCH Foundation Trust, Carer’s Network, West London Community Mental Health Team, Westminster Drugs Project, Early Intervention Psychosis Team, Paddington Development Trust…

The event could not have gone so well without the help of four volunteers, very appropriate in this week!  Elizabeth, Paola and Hafida are members of the Queen’s Park, Paddington and Church Street Book Groups and they were joined by Iman who has helped at several health information events in the past.

Paola at the Books on Prescription launch, Church Street Library, June 2013Huge thanks go to the staff at Church Street Library, especially to Alison the librarian, who made the idea for the display into a reality!

Books on Prescription is just one part of how libraries can contribute to Public Health – we also have regular health events and lots of information.

There are launch events in our partner boroughs today and next week: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s launch is this afternoon (5 June) at Brompton Library, from 2.00-4.00pm; the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham launch is at Shepherds Bush Library on 12 June, 12.30-2.30pm.

[Kate]

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