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GNOSALL PARISH NEWS
Produced by publishers of The Popular Village Monthly
It is not surprising and predictable that I have to report that our library is still closed and will remain closed for a while still. It was unfortunate that the first anniversary of our official opening of our library was on the 4th April, just after the start of ‘Lockdown’. Over two months have passed but, like the first snowdrops appearing as a sign of winter being over, there are a few signs to be hopeful of a return to normality.
We have not the urgency of those desperate small businesses suffering incalculably from the loss of their livelihood as we are volunteers but still there are consequences we will have to face. Staffordshire County Council (SCC) - Library Services say there will be a very slow return to normal working and it likely ‘Public’, rather than ‘Community’ libraries will be the first to open. Even their re-opening is still on someone’s drawing board. Most of our volunteers are over 70 and so are classed as ‘vulnerable people’ even if many of them may consider the label a little patronising, the same number may be fearful of what may lay ahead.
The disease has not been conquered nor is there a magic pill to alleviate the risks. When we return, we will be donned with appropriate PPE equipment and sanitized. Our visitors will have to be regimented and isolated from each other as far as possible.As a very real consequence of two months or more isolation, we will be out of the habit of doing what we did previously and lamentably many of our customers may never return having got out of the habit of not only visiting libraries but perhaps reading itself.
The SCC’s ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ has been cancelled as another casualty of the pandemic. The ‘Challenge’ was originally put in place to combat a lowering of student’s reading ability noted during the summer break. it is unknowable how much damage has been done to their ability during the current enforced break, even with the help of conscientious parents’. Let us hope we can go forward with no lasting damage to our efforts to bring a library to this village and moreover, hope that the reading habit returns and the daily COVID-19 announcements are a thing of the past. We were developing Gnosall Library into a ‘Social Hub’ by introducing lots of events and earlier this year we obtained an affiliation with the ‘Place of Welcome’ organisation but the lockdown stalled that venture and no telling when it will be resumed. The oxymoronic phrase going around that the ‘lockdown’ and isolation brings communities together should be dismissed for the facile and erroneous idea that it is. Yes, some admirable Gnosall volunteers have come together to help those who find these times difficult ,but the vast majority have been pulled apart from family, friends and social gatherings that they had come to rely on. We need to be social again, gregarious again, and read more than rhetoric from a (Not-so) ‘Brave New World’. We hope to welcome you again into Gnosall Library as soon as it is humanly possible.
Chairman, GLEAN Hub, Gnosall Community Library
COVID-19 RESPONDER FACTS
Emergency cover has and is still being provided during Lockdown in the community by those in the group who are able to respond We have given over 300 hours cover and attended 18 calls since Lockdown.
We have been involved in helping the community wherever we can by delivering medication or essential shopping to those who are not able to do it for themselves. It has taken some of the stress away from them, knowing their food and medication will be delivered.
Here is First Responder Ade Turner, collecting ‘scrubs’ for delivery to the collection point for the NHS
Unfortunately, although we have purchased our new car, delivery is delayed owing to the Covid-19 situation.
We must say a huge thank you to staff and customers of The Bakery who have filled our collecting tin during Lockdown and donated £238 to First Responders