Libraries host activities to help you to take care of yourself

Libraries’ role as a “gateway to good health and wellbeing” will come to the fore this month during Self-Care Week.

The annual national awareness week, which this year runs from Monday, November 13, to Sunday, November 19, is organised by the Self Care Forum and focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities and families.

North Yorkshire libraries will link up with public health colleagues and other partners to showcase the support they offer and to host activities and events.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for libraries, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “Public libraries are gateways to good health and wellbeing, and Self-Care Week gives libraries the opportunity to promote efficient use of the NHS by signposting people to reliable health information.

“Our libraries have joined up with the public health service, charities, organisations and artists to host a range of events to help people to look after their mind and body.”

Library members can take advantage of free resources, including Wellbeing Bags for adults and Self-Care Toolkits for teens. These are full of books and fun activities to promote wellbeing.

There are also Reading Well collections for adults, teens and children to support people in understanding and managing their health and wellbeing, using books recommended by health experts. Additionally, the library service’s Tough Topics collections are packs of books and activities chosen by librarians and professionals to help three to eight-year-olds to process their emotions and talk about their feelings around life-changing events.

Contact your local library for more information on any of these resources.

Events and activities during Self-Care Week include:

Monday, November 13

NHS Talking Therapies drop-in information sessions will take place at Harrogate and Knaresborough libraries on the morning and afternoon respectively.
A Health Roadshow takes place at Selby library between 10am and 1pm where 12 local and countywide agencies will share their services. North Yorkshire Sport will offer chair exercises and North Yorkshire Rotters will hand out recipes and green resources.
Harrogate library will also host a Health Roadshow between 10am and 3pm with visits from the RNIB, Carer’s Resource, Living Well and more.
Drop into Whitby’s Top to Toe event between 2pm and 5pm for head, face and neck massage routines to do at home, Qi Gong full body moving meditation, practical foot health care advice and a free relaxation bag to take home (while stocks last).

Tuesday, November 14

A Happy Day event at Malton library will promote wellbeing in all its forms. From 10am to 1pm join Sarah Banks, author of best-selling Wild Guide North-East England, and Richard Bowman from 2pm to 4pm for gardening activities. Throughout the day there will be health displays, mindfulness colouring and self-care origami hearts.

Thursday, November 16

Pickering library holds a Health Roadshow between 10.30am and 12.30pm with Healthwatch North Yorkshire, Dementia Care, Living Well and Age UK.

Friday, November 17

NHS Talking Therapies drop-in information sessions take place at Bedale and Thirsk libraries on the morning and afternoon respectively.
Visit Filey library to colour mandalas for mindfulness from 10.30am.
Relax with a hand massage taster session at Malton between 2pm and 4pm.
Give Boccia and Kurling a try at Thirsk library from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Saturday, November 18

Spend Saturday morning at Harrogate library chatting and crafting with Deckle and Hide at their owl-themed session. Enjoy relaxed autumnal vibes, upcycling a variety of material scraps to create an owl-themed coaster, keyring or an ‘about not of’ square.

You will be able to catch the RNIB, MIND, and Carer’s Resource at libraries throughout the week:
· Selby, Monday, November 13, 10am to 1pm.

· Ripon, RNIB, Wednesday, November 15, 11.30am to 1.30pm; MIND and Carer’s Resource, Friday, November 17, 10am to noon.

· Skipton, Carer’s Resource, Wednesday, November 15, 10am to noon; RNIB, Thursday, November 16, 11am to 1.30pm.

· Knaresborough, MIND, Tuesday, November 14, 10am to noon; Carer’s Resource, Wednesday, November 15, 10am to 12.30pm.

· Boroughbridge, MIND, Tuesday, November 14, 2pm to 4pm; Carer’s Resource, Friday, November 17, 10am to 12.30pm.

Scarborough and Northallerton libraries will host information sessions with public health colleagues about the NHS Healthy Start scheme, which entitles eligible parents or parents-to-be to help to buy healthy food and get free vitamins. At present, eligible parents can collect their free vitamins from Skipton and Northallerton libraries and the aim is to extend this. In the meantime, parents will be able to find out if they are eligible for the card and what it provides. The team will visit Scarborough on Monday, November 13, between 9am and noon, and Northallerton on Tuesday, November 14, between 9am and noon.

To find out more about what is happening during Self-Care Week, visit your local library or check its Facebook page.
To sign up for a free library membership, visit North Yorkshire Council’s website at