Podio volunteers recently took a trip out of the city to see neighbouring Penwortham’s Independent Community Library. The purpose was to meet Events Manager, Sam Jones, and some of their volunteers, to find out about the new service & community hub in the Penwortham Youth and Community Centre building.
This new space is on Priory Lane. Penwortham’s former Library building, on Liverpool Road, and the Community Centre owned by Lancashire County Council closed two years ago. Penwortham Town Council have recently taken over both the old library and the Community Centre building.
The community library opened its doors on May 21st, 2019 and is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The library is run by a team of dedicated volunteers from the local community on behalf of Penwortham Town Council. The library is free to use, has an extensive supply of books and has daily newspapers, magazines and laptops to use. Visitors can also buy hot or cold drinks & biscuits to enjoy in the library area. Since May, the library has run a variety of free community events including a book-reading by local author Patricia McGuiness, poetry readings, colouring and reading activities and competitions for children. The library is also a drop off point for the Penwortham Food Bank. Future plans include improving the book storage space and renovating the building.
The number of people using the community library, and the following feedback from visitors that has been posted on the library Facebook page, demonstrates how important & beneficial access to books and having a place to meet is to the community:
‘A good selection of books for the size of the library; friendly helpful staff and the opportunity to have a brew too’
‘A great resource and so welcoming!’
‘Always a warm welcome and a great choice of books!’
‘Made most welcome when I called in today. Will be back to browse.’
The Community Centre is a thriving hub with several groups running classes & activities there. Double R Arts is a registered charity that helps young people develop performing arts skills, confidence and interpersonal skills. Melody Adventure run weekly music & singing classes for young children and their parents. PM’s Dance school run ballroom, Latin & streetdance classes for both children & adults. Sarah Swirled Belly Dance run courses at the centre and the Penwortham Women’s Institute meet on the fourth Thursday of the month.
The former library building on Liverpool Road is being converted by Penwortham Town Council into a community music & art centre; due to open soon. The Venue will have its own bar, stage and seating for eighty people – and will be used for film screenings & art exhibitions, by local artists & performers.
For further information about Penwortham Independent Community Library or The Venue email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01772 750533.
Best of luck, and keep up the good work, from all of us at Podio Preston HQ