Cambridgeshire volunteers first winners of new award

When Cambridgeshire libraries put out a call for volunteers a couple of years ago, both the Library Service and the Friends were delighted with the numbers of people who came forward. At Rock Road Library, people come to help with gardening, reading with children, giving talks, and telling stories. I’ve seen people of all ages taking part, from the under-8s to the over-80s.

Now the willingness of local people to get stuck in with supporting these great community services has been recognized with a special award.

Cambridgeshire’s Library and Archive Service has been presented with the Five Star Focus Award for its volunteering programme by Volunteering, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a partnership of Volunteer Centres.

Not only that, but the Library & Service is the first winner in the county.

Cambridgeshire Libraries, and Archives have a wide range of valuable volunteers of all ages – from Computer Buddie and Rhymetime Assistants to the Library at Home service.

Anyone interested in a volunteering opportunity with Cambridgeshire Libraries and Archives can find out more on the Cambridgeshire County Council website, at

Books for sunflower growers, gold medals for readers!

the winning sunflower with its victory garland

On Saturday,  I enjoyed taking part in two prizegiving ceremonies at Rock Road Library, where prizes and awards were given to young readers and gardeners.

The Friends of Rock Road Library have run a Sunflower Competition for local children. Back in March, children planted the sunflowers in the library garden, which is maintained by the Friends. The grower of the best ones was awarded a prize in the form of a signed book by celebrated local children’s author Martin Jenkins.

Martin’s books include “Grandma Elephant’s in Charge”, “Chameleons Are Cool”, “Gulliver” (an adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels), and the “Time Book: A brief history from lunar calendars to atomic clocks”.  He will be there this Saturday to give out prizes.

The second awards ceremoney was for the Summer Reading Challenge, run by the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Library Service. Local children joined with other youngsters not only all over the UK but across the world — a great international event for this Olympics year. Over 20 children between 4 and 11 who had met the target of reading six books over the school holidays received gold medals and certificates.

The Friends of Rock Road Library support the work of the library and arrange community events to support it. The Friends originally came into being to create a garden at the back of the library. They have supported the library throughout the period of threatened cuts to its funding, campaigning to keep open this vital community facility.