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Bookshop Supports Barnsley Museums In Tackling Social Isolation

12th December 2023

Fosters Book Shop is supporting Barnsley Museums in their aim to combat social isolation by donating a supply of books that will be distributed to local communities through the Museums ‘Know Your Neighbourhood’ project.

Through the project, Barnsley Museums has been hosting a variety of free events across the town centre to encourage people at high risk of social isolation to come together, take part in new activities and volunteering opportunities, and make new friends in the process.

Now thanks to the generosity of Fosters Book Shop, found in the Victorian Arcade, books have been donated to the b:friend group based in the Dearne Valley in Barnsley. The charity works with volunteers who become friends with isolated older neighbours in the community. The books will be distributed to lonely and isolated older people across the Barnsley Dearne district and offer opportunities for interaction, relaxation, and conversation for those receiving them.

Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust received funding of £40,000 on behalf of Barnsley Museums to combat social isolation and encourage volunteering across the borough, linked to the Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone. 

The Know Your Neighbourhood (KYN) Fund is a £29 million package of funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in partnership with Historic England, designed to widen participation in volunteering and tackle loneliness and the next event will be a film screening for the over 55’s at the Parkway Cinema on Tuesday 16 January.

Councillor Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: 

“This project is bringing people together in many ways. Not only are people connecting and building relationships through events, workshops, and activities, our town centre businesses like Fosters Book Shop and the Parkway Cinema are also coming together to show support for this amazing initiative, and there is still time to get involved.”

Ashleigh Crosswaite, Fosters Books said: 

This is such an amazing project, and we’re so glad to have been part of it! Combating loneliness at this time of year is so important, and we hope the books we donated will help provide much-needed entertainment and bring people together to read, swap, share and discuss them, too.” 

Jenny Pitman, Lets Be Friends said: 

Our Thurnscoe and Bolton social clubs were delighted to receive a donation of books from the Know Your Neighbourhood project. And they came just in time for our end of year parties! One of our members was thrilled with the book she unwrapped as it was the next one in the series of books she is currently reading.”

For more information about the activities taking place, visit www.barnsley-musuems.com/whats-on