Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Volunteer-Led Activities at the Hayridge

 Regular users of the Hayridge may have noticed that our Saturday morning activities have been rather irregular of late, with issues around Lego Club, Coding Club, and Airfix Club. I’d like to use this issue of the Hubbub to let you know what’s going on, explain a little about our volunteer-led activities, and take the opportune of letting you know how you can help going forward if you have time to spare and would like to help your community to thrive.

Coding/Minecraft Club

Starting with the most complicated situation first, our Coding Club was suspended in November 2016. We originally started it with one volunteer back in 2015, but just as it was being to get established and gather some traction, our volunteer moved to work in a different part of the country before we had an opportunity to recruit additional volunteers. We therefore had to suspend the club in March 2016 while we recruited a new team to run the club.

The club restarted in July with two volunteers. I had hoped that this would give us additional resilience in the event that one of the volunteers needed to move on. Unfortunately at the end of October, both volunteers got new jobs at more or less the same time, just as the reformed club was starting to get settled. We had at that time added Minecraft as an extra option for Saturday mornings, but that was also affected by the sudden removal of volunteer support.

Over the winter, we have been working hard to put a new volunteer team together to deliver code club. This time we have eight volunteers, and it is my sincere hope that this time we will be able to sustain the club regardless of the occasional loss of a volunteer, or even several simultaneously.

If you have been affected by all this chopping and changing of the club, please accept my apologies; but I hope you understand that we have to be careful to make sure that the children in our care will be safe, and it takes time to get new volunteers on board and up to speed. Stay with us; we will get this right.

Airfix Club

Airfix has been the very opposite of Coding club, in that we have some committed volunteers but not very much demand for the club from youngsters.

We have decided to temporarily suspend the Airfix club until the summer, while we look at the potential demand from both young and old. As a long-term fan of model-building, I think that Airfix is a brilliant hobby: it promotes mindfulness/relaxation, artistic expression, an interest in technology, and fosters an interest in history. However, in today’s digital age, it is not as popular with young people as it once was.

If there is sufficient interest – 5 people, say – we will reconstitute the Airfix club as a self-standing model club, possibly affiliated to the International Plastic Modeller’s Society (IPMS). To help identify the demand, we are looking at hosting a model-themed extravaganza in June. If that goes well, we’ll press-on with forming the club; if not, we will close the club down and see if the volunteers would be interested in supporting any of our other activities.

Lego Club

Lego has been really popular since it started at the beginning of 2015. We have been fortunate in that our volunteer, Tony Thurgood, has been so adaptable: we originally thought that Lego attendees would be aged 8-13 or so, and he was primed to help with tough engineering challenges. In fact, Lego has been mostly used by a much younger age group, and Tony has been fantastic in helping them to be comfortable building smaller projects at their own pace.

I’d also like to put on record the terrific help we have had from our two teen volunteers in using the Lego robots, and also Sam Gibb who has kindly lent us some of his personal collection of large and expensive Lego sets to complement the sets we have bought for the club.

Unfortunately, Tony Thurgood was seriously ill over the New Year and we are not sure when he will be well enough to return to the club. While he is away, I have allocated one of our staff members to supervise the club. We would love to hear from any adult in the community who might be interested in helping to run the club going forward.

Becoming a Volunteer

 Becoming a volunteer is easy, if a little time-consuming.

The first step is to contact me, Centre Manager Darryl Harrison at darryl.harrison@librariesunlimited.org.uk . I will arrange a 1-1 meeting to discuss your interest, and explain the duties we expect you to perform according to the role you have expressed interest in.

If you are still interested after the 1-1, I will ask you to complete an “Expression of Interest” form. This asks for basic contact details, confirms the positon you are interested in, and asks for two references willing to testify on your behalf. When you submit the form, we contact your referees and wait for their response.

If the references are OK – and they invariably are – we then usually proceed to submit a DBS check on your behalf. This is necessary for any activity which involves supervision of children. The DBS check requires you to bring in documents to confirm your identity and address – the usual stuff, such as passport, driving licence, and utility bills. Once these are received and accepted by the DBS authority, you will be issued with a BS certificate, after which you’re ready to rock.

Once all the admin and bureaucracy is done and dusted, there will be a briefing to confirm start dates, personal safety and safeguarding practices, and the procedures to be followed for the activity you have volunteered to support. Phew!

Current Volunteer Opportunities

I am currently looking for two adult volunteers for the Lego club, and am always keen to hear from people with programming OR children’s care experience, to add to the pool of volunteers supporting Coding and Minecraft.

We are also always on the lookout for people who are committed to a hobby that supports the library ethic – something to inspire an interest in technology, artistic expression, community involvement, or shared use of resources – so if you have a passion for a particular hobby or activity and would like to volunteer to share your passion with others, why not get in touch with me to see if we can support you through the library?

And Finally…

Volunteer-led activities are really important to our ability to support the community in interesting and engaging activities for all ages.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful volunteers, and hope that we can continue to support a wide and varies programme of events and activities going forward.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


Aimed at people looking for work. 

We Offer help and support in searching for jobs, completing Application Forms, preparing or updating your CV.

We provide access to computers and the internet.

You can access the governments Universal Jobmatch site where you can search for jobs, update your CV, apply for suitable jobs.  All information can be recorded, which you will find useful if you are registered and claiming Job Seekers Allowance or other relevant benefits.

We have photo copying facilities.

Work Club at The Hayridge will recommence on Tuesday 26th July

Monday, 11 July 2016

Summer at the Hayridge

It's all happening at the Hayridge this summer, as we get ready for the Summer Reading Challenge which starts on July 16th. Over the years, schools have told us that children who continue to read over the school summer holidays consistently do better at school the next term. So it's a great way to keep young ones developing their reading skills an having some fun at the same time. There's a Roald Dahl theme this year, so roll up for the big friendly read!

Take the Underwater Challenge!

There's a submarine theme to the activities at the Hayridge in July, with activities and craft events for all ages, including a special story time on July 15th. There's a quiz and colouring activities to be found at the library counter, so come along and take part in the fun (and you don't even need a scuba suit!)


Axe Valley Festival 2016

Congratulations to chair of the Friends of Cullompton Library, Dorothy Anderson, who won the gardening competition with her library-themed garden! Check out the details here.




Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Travel the World at Your Library in February!

There's lots happening at the Hayridge this February, with collections and activities for everyone. Our theme this month is Books that Take You Places, so look out for things travel-related: a brilliant selection of fiction set abroad, as well as a selection of travel guides to help you plan your next break away from the soggy weather we've had to endure since the start of the year. We'll also be reading out extracts from a couple of travel-related books on Tuesday 23rd February at 2pm (with a cafĂ© special of tea or coffee and a biscuit for only £1), so if you'd like to be transported to a distant land, let the library do it for free!

Vexed by Vexillology?

That's the study of flags - but you already knew that, of course. Anyway, to develop our travel theme, we've put together a couple of flaggy quests for you to puzzle over. For little ones, we have a flag trail running around the library starting February 1st; and for everyone else, we have a flag quiz at the counter starting on the same date. And on February 18th 2-3pm, you'll be able to decorate biscuits with flags of your own. Now that's something to wave the flags about.

 Think you Know Devon?

If your travel preferences lie closer to home, we've come up with a little puzzler for you. We've printed a map of Devon showing the location of 20 towns or cities with a Devon library branch, but forgotten to print their names. Can you work the names out for us? It's harder than you might think! Have a go starting February 1st.



Make up a Postcard

One of the best bits about travelling is sending someone you know a postcard telling them how great a time you're having. Well, on February 16th (during half-term week) we've got a great kids' activity lined up: come in and design your own postcard for Cullompton, then mail it to us here at the Hayridge. We'll put all the cards we receive on display for the rest of the month. Stamps provided. Who knows, this could be the start of something big!

Fab Lab is Here!

On Friday February 19th (also during half term) we'll be hosting the fabulous Fab Lab - the fabrication laboratory. They'll be running two workshops for older children, bringing their incredible 3D printers to allow cool stuff to be designed on the computers and manufactured on the printers. The morning workshop (10am) will be about designing and building a (flyable) glider, while the afternoon workshop will be about racing cars. For more details, click this link. We've got limited places on each workshop, so if you're interested, sign up now!


 And Don't Forget...

All our regular events will be running through February, including Lego Club (every Saturday 10am), Coding Club (every Tuesday 4pm) and the Community Cinema on the last Saturday of the month. See all our regular events at this link.

Got an idea for a club or activity? Let us know and we'll do our best to make it happen!

Finally - a Fond Farewell

Centre Assistant Susie Tyler leaves the Hayridge at the end of January to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time illustrator. I'm sure you will all join me in wishing Susie all the best in her venture, and give her a big thank you for all the effort she has put in to making Cullompton Library a special place to visit over the last few years. Hopefully she will still remember us when her career has taken off and she's rich and famous!


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Fall Back: Autumn at the Hayridge

Time Flies

As the clock change approaches, we are getting ready for a busy Autumn at the Hayridge, with lots to get involved in during the lead-up to Christmas.

As well as the clocks going back, Opening Times are changing here too, with the launch of a new scheme called Open Plus. This will allow customers to access the centre and use its facilities after normal hours - up to 21:30 on each weekday evening. Customers will be able to scan their library card and enter their pin to gain access late into the evening and at weekends. We're very excited to be able to be able to offer greater flexibility for our customers and hope it will make a difference to how often you can visit The Hayridge Centre.

The scheme goes fully live on 16th November, so if you would like to be able to access The Hayridge in the evening, come to the desk during staffed hours to have your library card added to the system.

Free Online Magazines with Zinio 

Zinio for Libraries is here! It gives free access to magazines for all Devon Libraries members. Wherever you are you can now read magazines for free online or download and keep on your mobile device. There's a great deal of choice for all interests -Grazia, New Scientist, Hello!, Cycling Plus, BBC Good Food and many more can be found - See more by clicking on Magazines.

Creative Crafts
We're just finalising the details of our crafts and activities for November and December, so keep a lookout for our flyers, facebook events posts and website, detailing all the dates and times.

We're going to hide some pinecones around the library, for children to find and make into woodland creatures. And we'll be running two special storytimes about a cute little penguin and his experiences of Autumn and Winter. There'll be an educational leaf trail around the library and displays of books on the theme.

We'll also be gathering information for the elderly about how to prepare for the cold weather to ensure everyone is safe and toasty this season.

If you feel like a surprise, we'll be running our mystery book loans during December. There will be a pile of presents in the foyer - wrapped books without their titles. You won't know what you're getting, and you'll have to come and borrow it the old-fashioned way without self-service so you don't find out what you've borrowed til you unwrap it at home. It's a bit of fun to get people to try reading something they wouldn't normally pick up. In January we'd like to gather people's thoughts about what they've read and share recommendations.
Still Time to Hop onto a FREE Taster Session with On Course Southwest.
This Friday 16th October sees a wonderful range of free taster courses taking place at The Hayridge, including Dressmaking, Crochet, Cake Decorating, Creative Writing and Decoupage. All you have to do to sign up is come and add your name to our list and turn up on the day. You can also see all the other courses on offer in the On Course Southwest brochure or on their website. And if there's something you'd like to learn that you don't see available, let us know and we'll put it on our wish list.


Oh no - The Robots are Coming!!

If you like LEGO, you'll love this - Lego robots!

Come along to Lego Club for a SPECIAL EVENT on Saturday 28th November. Learn how to build and programme robotic Lego creations between 10 am and 12 noon.