HAMPSHIRE residents have the opportunity to take part in a variety of upcoming activities during Loneliness Awareness Week. 

From June 12 to June 18, the Hampshire County Council's (HCC) Library Service is holding a range of activities where people can meet others, develop new skills and improve their well-being.

Some examples of the services include the Chat About scheme, which offers welcoming spaces where people can meet and talk. 

During this scheme specially trained staff will introduce people into a group, to have a private conversation, or to signpost support for anyone needing help.

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There will also be read-aloud groups, where you can sit back and listen to library staff read aloud for 30 minutes. 

Cllr Steve Foster, the county council's cabinet member for education, said: “Our libraries are about so much more than just borrowing books. They serve as vibrant community hubs, providing a safe and inviting environment for people to connect, unwind, and learn.

"At Hampshire libraries, there is something for everyone, with events and activities to suit all ages - many of which are offered free of charge. Whether it's educational classes, courses, book clubs, singing sessions, or storytime for babies and toddlers, there are many options to explore.”

For people who can't get to the library due to ill health, a disability or caring responsibilities, there is also the home library service where books are delivered to your home on a regular basis.

There are also volunteering opportunities at different libraries and free wifi available. 

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Cllr Liz Fairhurst, cabinet member for adult social Care and public health, said: “Loneliness can affect anyone, regardless of age, and can have a serious impact on mental and physical wellbeing. Connecting with others can help address this issue, and our libraries offer a space where this can take place.

"If you or someone you know is experiencing feelings of loneliness or isolation, I strongly encourage visiting your local library or exploring their online resources to discover the options available."

For more information about the available activities, go to hants.gov.uk/librariesandarchives/library.