We’ve Made It!

Residents from villages across Gower team up to fundraise for Pennard Library

The Friends of Pennard Library’s Charity Shop in Southgate has made over £10,000, since trading began in July. All monies will go towards safeguarding Gower’s last remaining library.

The Old Southgate Post Office closed its doors for the last time in March – to move to its new home in the Three Cliffs Coffee Shop. Retired postmaster, Will Smith, offered the shop to the Friends of Pennard Library (FoPL) to sell off the stationery and cards from the former Post Office. Sarah Joiner (FoPL Chair) said, “It was such a brilliant and generous offer, that we thought we might as well open a fully-fledged charity shop. We didn’t know what to expect, so we set ourselves a target of raising £10,000 by Christmas – which seemed fairly ambitious. After 100 days of trading we’ve already made well over £10,000 in profit – so our original target has been completely blown out of the water.”

Wendy Robins, one of the 60 volunteers, said: “The FoPL charity shop has been an enormous success owing to the commitment of the entire Gower Community. We’ve had some very generous donations and many customers ask us to keep the change. It just shows the community’s unrelenting desire to keep its library service.”

The shop is now selling Christmas goods and would welcome donations of a seasonal nature. We are open every day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Please call in and pay us a visit before our final day of trading on 11th January 2016.

What’s Happening with the Library Service?
We are still trying to negotiate a lease for a site, and are consulting with all stake holders on the current campus. This is proving to be difficult. Without a site we cannot proceed to raise grants to rebuild the library.

Meanwhile, a commissioning review of many services (including libraries) is due to be published in February 2016. Our understanding is that the  entire Library Service is now facing a 50% cut. Indeed, Tracy Macnulty, Head of Cultural Services, said at a recent meeting that she anticipated all libraries and cultural services would be expected to be transferred to third parties able to offer 50% – 100% savings for the Local Authority.

This is what Friends of Pennard Library has been offering for the past two years: a model which generates cash through a cafe and community spaces available for hire. This will enable FoPL to both run and maintain the new proposed library building, and buy in a Library Service from the Local Authority. This model is endorsed by the Expert Review of Public Libraries in Wales, 2014 – and meets the criteria set out by the council leader, Rob Stewart, for community groups to come forward to help run services.

In appreciation of your continued support,

Friends of Pennard Library

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