Eastfield library is More Than Books

Words and photos by Dave Barry 

The library in Eastfield has celebrated its first anniversary under community management.

More Than Books is one of three libraries in the Scarborough area run entirely by volunteers, along with Newby & Scalby in Newby and Derwent Bridge in West Ayton.

At the same time, the library was awarded a £9,000 Wellbeing grant from Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the borough and county councils.

“This is a milestone”, said Julie Blaisdale, the county council’s assistant director for library and community services.

“They’ve done fantastically well”, she added, referring to More Than Books’ trustees, about 30 volunteers and its paid staff member, Anna Hutchinson.

“They offer a huge range of activities and the county council continues to provide the infrastructure, such as the books and professional support staff”.

The county council’s director of public health, Lincoln Sargeant, unveiled a plaque recording the library’s launch as a community wellbeing hub.

Four young carers from Carers' Resource gave a presentation about what it involves. they were accompanied by staff members Dawn Brookes and Claire Robinson.

The event was also attended by Nigel Prince, Lee Taylor, Chrys Mellor, Karen Atkinson, Becky Harden, Carrie Gaddass, Philippa Thomas, Claire Phillips and Sharon Houghton of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).

Representing funding agencies and partners were Liz Dowson of Scarborough Council (SC), Suzanne Bennett of the CCG, Helen Swinger and three colleagues from Yorkshire Coast Homes, Kacie Peirson of Jobmatch, Simone Wilkinson and Jayne Hammill of the Children’s Centre prevention team, Alison Easton of Age UK, Chris Unsworth of the police, local historian Steve Gandolfi and artist Marcus Whitmore.

The event was attended by several councillors. They were Chris Parsons and Barry Pearson of Eastfield Town Council; John Warburton of SC; and Tony Randerson of SC and NYCC.

Besides Anna Hutchinson, More Than Books was represented by acting chair Jacqui Smith, Brian Smuk, Keith Barber, Nick Kemp, Linda Kemp, Pauline Caulfield, Fran Butters, Moira Grant, Alan Green, Chris Green, Jay Rea, Lesley Symonds and Mick Vermooch.