Bookshop supports Barnsley Museums in tackling social isolation

Fosters Little Book Shop has come out in support of Barnsley Museums in their aim to combat social isolation by donating a supply of books that will be distributed to local communities through the Museums ‘Know Your Neighbourhood’ project.

Through the project, Barnsley Museums has been hosting a variety of free events across the town centre to encourage people at high risk of social isolation to come together, take part in new activities and volunteering opportunities, and make new friends through the process.

Now thanks to the generosity of Fosters Book Shop, found in the Victorian Arcade, books have been donated to the b:friend group based in the Dearne Valley in Barnsley. The befriending charity works with volunteers who become befrienders to isolated older neighbours in the community. The books will be distributed to lonely and isolated older people across the Barnsley Dearne district and offer opportunities for interaction, relaxation, and conversation for those receiving them.

Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust received funding of £40,000 on behalf of Barnsley Museums to combat social isolation and encourage volunteering across the borough, linked to the Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone. 

The Know Your Neighbourhood (KYN) Fund is a £29 million package of funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in partnership with Historic England, designed to widen participation in volunteering and tackle loneliness.

Further activities still to take place include a film screening for 55s and over at the Parkway Cinema on Tuesday 16 January.

Councillor Robin Franklin, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “This project is bringing people together in many ways. Not only are people connecting and building relationships through events, workshops, and activities, our town centre businesses like Fosters Book Shop and the Parkway Cinema are also coming together to show support for this amazing initiative, and there is still time to get involved.”

Ashleigh Crosswaite, Fosters Little Book Shop said: “This is such an amazing project and we're so glad to have been part of it! Combating loneliness at this time of year is so important, and we hope the books we donated will help to provide much needed entertainment as well as bringing people together to read, swap and share and discuss them, too." 

Jenny Pitman, B:Friends said: “Our Thurnscoe and Bolton social clubs were delighted to receive a donation of books from the Know Your Neighbourhood project. And they came just in time for our end of year parties! One of our members was thrilled with the book she unwrapped as it was the next one in the series of books she is currently reading.”

For more information about the activities taking place visit

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