Best place to thaw

Childs Hill Library has become a warm hub for the winter, offering the local community a cosy and welcoming space and reducing the need for costly heating at home. 

Whenever the library is open, anyone can come inside for a hot drink or a steaming mug of hot soup. They’ll find companionship, and more, on offer.

Library Manager Neha Dhakar said: “Some come in to read the papers with a drink, others to have a chat. Parents drop in on their way to pick up children from school and children pop in after lessons for soup. Others want help with IT or support with language skills.”

More than 25 visitors come to enjoy the library space every week, thanks to a Barnet Innovation Community Fund Grant which runs until the spring. This has funded the cost of the refreshments and over 100 sets of warm clothes for families in greatest need. 

Kisharon Langdon members help set up the drinks table and monitor supplies to make sure tea, coffee and soup are always available but their biggest job has been assembling bags of new clothes for vulnerable families. With a hat, blanket, gloves, scarf, jumper and socks in each pack, the Kisharon Langdon team have been buying large quantities of brand new clothes in correct sizes and at the best prices. 

Aviva Braunold, Development and Learning Lead, said: “The project has improved skills in IT, communication, budgeting, and teamwork. It’s good to be giving back to the community.”

Several have taken part in food safety and customer services courses, learning basic hygiene to serve drinks and soup to library visitors safely. 

Library opening hours when anyone is free to drop in, are:

  • Mon 10am-1pm
  • Tue 10am-1pm & 2-5pm
  • Wed 2-8pm
  • Thu 2-5pm
  • Sun 2-5pm

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