Every day in Manchester Libraries in the northern city branches is Age Friendly Hour from 10 til 11am – a quieter time for seniors to visit the Library, pick up their library books, grab a free composting bag, read the paper or just shoot the breeze with each other and our friendly library staff. Here in North Manchester we love the chance for a brew and a chinwag. We know as we all get older, staying in touch and active is so important – it keeps us and our loved ones in great shape, combats loneliness and social isolation and helps with good mental health. So once a week each North Manchester Library has a special day where people can catch an activity and grab a sitdown with a free cuppa tea or coffee and a biscuit. Catch these on the following days:

Mondays 10-11am      Abraham Moss Library, Crumpsall

Tuesdays 10-11am      Miles Platting Library

Wednesday 10-11       New Moston Library

Thursday 10-11am      Beswick Library

Thursday 10-11am      Avenue Library, Blackley

Thursday 10-11am      North City Library, Harpurhey

Friday 10-11am           Newton Heath Library

There’s always something to do – have a listen to some music, make something crafty to take home, learn some new digital skills for life such as our music Playlists for Life.  To kickstart our special Age Friendly Libraries Hour back in December, we held special Festive Craft sessions with lovely artist Caroline Coates. Folk could pop in for a mince pie & cuppa tea or coffee, and make a cute Christmas Pudding or Stocking felt decoration to take home for the tree. Here’s Maria stuffing her creation and stitching on the sequins!

Our Age Friendly Libraries leads in North Manchester are managers Tracy and Niall who regularly run our Grand Day Out groups and lead social activities, arts and crafts, cultural trips and general mischief for folk in their mature years. This year we really wanted to reunite with our regulars so we planned a lovely Christmas party, treating the group members with festive food, Christmas music from our Age Friendly PlayList for Life and a lovely gift bag with a newsletter a free Read Manchester book, chocolates, Christmas card and a small toiletries gift for everyone.

It was especially rewarding to get the group members together again as Covid has meant that they have not been able to meet up for nearly two years and some members have sadly suffered ill-health so it was an emotional occasion. People said:

“It’s lovely to be back in the Library together again and see my friends.”

“It was so thoughtful of Niall to make us each a hand-crafted gift bags”

“A real surprise when jolly Santa Claus appeared with a gift for everyone!”

Following this, February will see the group meeting again at Miles Platting or North City Libraries on a regular weekly slot of Mondays 2-4pm. Monday 28 February  will be a Cake and Craft session with refreshments and an arts & craft activity but before that Monday 7 February will be Afternoon Tea along with exploring how to make your own PlayList for Life Playlist for Life – Personal music for dementia This is a great new Dementia-Friendly way to download and use favourite music and heritage tracks  from our heydays to promote physical and mental good health in later years and help combat dementia and memory loss.

If you live in North Manchester, contact Tracy on 0161 227 3779 for more information about Age Friendly activities in your local library.