New chapter opens for town library

Amble resident Lynda Burn (right) opens theSocial Care and Health Information Point at Amble Library watched by support planner Abby Appleby, Cllr Ian Lindley and team librarian Lynn Riddell.

Amble resident Lynda Burn (right) opens theSocial Care and Health Information Point at Amble Library watched by support planner Abby Appleby, Cllr Ian Lindley and team librarian Lynn Riddell.

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A NEW social care and health information point is open for business at Amble Library.

The facility was officially unveiled by North Broomhill resident Linda Byrne in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The information point is one of a number to open around Northumberland.

The scheme has been developed in partnership with Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as part of a pilot to improve access to information to council services and advice about sources of support which can assist adults to remain living independently in their own homes in Northumberland.

A broad range of information will be available at the points, including details of support groups in the area and advice and guidance to address common issues associated with disability or long-term illness.

Linda, a carer for her elderly mother who was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s in 2005, said: “I would urge every carer to seek support as early as possible as you go through a range of emotions when you are responsible for someone’s wellbeing.

“I am pleased to see that this will now be possible and the local library is a welcoming place to be able to receive this advice. I hope that it will be a big success.”

Refurbishment work has been carried out at Amble Library, on Middleton Street, to provide a private meeting room which can be used by support planners and local councillors’ surgeries, as well as toilets for the disabled and extra storage for the library.

The town’s information point will be open during normal library opening times. 

Support planners will be on hand on Mondays and Wednesdays to provide advice, guidance and, where relevant, assistance in arranging an assessment of social services support.

They will also be able to provide information on other health services, while library employees will help with the information provision at times when support planners are not present.

Coun Ian Lindley, executive member for adult care and wellbeing at the county council, said: “The aim is to give people as much choice as we can, to help them make informed choices in order to be able to live independent, active lives, with plenty of links to their community. 

“We will be evaluating the demand for the social care and health information points and how they are being used to determine our plans for future locations.”