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Local library gives Robin, 75, new lease of life

30 January 2018

A community gardening scheme put on by Dersingham Library as part of the In Good Company campaign has helped a bereaved older gentleman find happiness again.

Robin Lake lost his wife Dorothy Ann in April, after 52 years of marriage.  The couple had moved to Dersingham over 25 years ago, running their own business together before retirement.  When Dorothy Ann sadly passed away in April 2017, Robin became lonely.  Walking past Dersingham Library one day, Robin got chatting to community librarian Alison Thorne who told him about their gardening scheme and suggested that Robin join.

“The library is a real community hub” says Robin.

“Alison spoke to me about getting involved with maintaining the community garden, and one day I decided to get involved.

“I now go once a month.  We do lots of work improving the garden.  We’re currently adding a shingle path.

“Alison gets everything going in the community.  She is brilliant and it’s thanks to her and this wonderful scheme run by the library that I have a new lease of life.”

Robin is also planning a special floral tribute to his late wife, by planting a rose bush early next year.

“It isn’t the season for rose bushes, so I’m going to plant one in March.  It will be a tribute to my wife that we will watch grow over the year.”

Margaret Dewsbury, Chair of the Communities Committee at Norfolk County Council, said:  “This is a fantastic example of how libraries provide vital opportunities for social interaction to their community, and how our excellent community librarians can engage and inspire others to get involved in projects.”

The scheme at Dersingham library is just one example of all the wonderful things that go on across Norfolk libraries who are all vital in our In Good Company campaign to tackle loneliness across Norfolk.  Other examples include Knit and Natter, scrabble groups, coffee mornings and Bounce and Rhyme sessions.  

Find out more information on events taking place at libraries in your area on the Norfolk Libraries website.  There are a host of diverse opportunities for social interaction and adult learning across the county.

Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council, said:  “This is a perfect example of what we hope to achieve with our In Good Company campaign.  Loneliness and lack of social interaction can be as bad for someone’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day as well as being the cause of a number of other health issues, but these community initiatives can make the world of difference to people just like Robin.”

Find out more about our award-winning In Good Company campaign, or pledge your time to combat loneliness.  Every commitment is vital to ensure #NoLonelyDay in Norfolk.

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