International Day for Older Persons

What is International Day for Older Persons?  

On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly selected 1 October the International Day for Older Persons. This is a day set aside to raise awareness of issues affecting the elderly and to appreciate our Elders.   

With better knowledge, care, medicines and lifestyles choices/ changes people are living longer.  Age UK, the charity, is there to help the older generation, who feel there is no one there to support them with information and advice, telephone friendship (someone to talk to) and current up-to-date information.   

Check out their website here.

In the meantime, here are 10 tips for aging better, produced by Age UK. 

We all know health both physical and mental is important whether young or old.  For a fifteen minute workout by the National Institute on Aging, see  here

For useful advise on incorporating strengthening exercises in your routine, read this.

What about mental health? Lots of useful information is again available on the Age UK website, see here.

What can you do to support the elderly on this special day? 

Just a few suggestions:  

  • For exciting volunteering positions go here.
  • Visit or talk to your elderly neighbour or relative  
  • Can you help your neighbour bring in groceries or medication?  
  • Have you any ideas? 

“I have gained so many different skills and feel more confident in myself “

This was Annie’s second summer with us at Brompton and we were really pleased to have her back. Annie was eager to learn, easy to get on with, hard-working and enjoyed engaging with the public, especially the kids signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge so we’re sorry to lose her again. Work experience and volunteering can be a very positive experience for both the branch and the volunteer but, as ever, you get out of it as much as you put in and, as you can see from Annie’s blog, she put in a lot!


During my summer holidays, I had the opportunity to do some volunteering at Brompton Library. I had previously completed my work experience there back in 2011 and I loved it so much that I decided to go back there again!

Whilst volunteering at Brompton, it felt like I had never left and had been working there all my life.  I was given a range of different tasks which I enjoyed. I was settled in the work room where I was given a list of tasks to do such as stock work, cataloguing, transit boxes, discarding the books, reservation reports, shelving and shelf-checking. The work room was the best place to mingle with other staff which made the job even more entertaining!

My main role at Brompton this time was to help out with The Summer Reading Challenge. I had to socialize with the children and get their parents to sign them up and help them complete their challenge by providing them with their rewards each time they had completed one book.

On Thursdays, the  library ran regular iPad sessions, where kids could come in and try out the new Mystical Maze app which would allow them to play games and unlock different mystical characters by scanning posters around the library using the camera on the iPad. I won’t lie to you, I myself had immense fun whilst setting up the apps and testing them!

My time at Brompton has been great. It is such a great place to work, not just for learning new skills and gaining confidence in talking to the public, but also the friendships you gain there is amazing. For every day you work at Brompton, you are never bored and are always entertained.  You feel like you’re part of the team. For every task you fulfil, you feel like you have accomplished something and you learn something new every day. You get to interact with different people young and old. It makes you feel more grown up and independent.I highly recommend doing some sort of work experience at Brompton or at any other library because it’s worth it.

Leaving Brompton, I have gained so many different skills and have felt more confident in myself in terms of helping the public. I think in any place you work at, it’s important that you feel happy and feel proud of what you have achieved, and that’s what being at Brompton Library does. The team at Brompton are amazing and are such wonderful people.

Don’t worry, Brompton, I’ll be back in the future!


Our amazing volunteers help provide IT for all!

Owen Grey, Reference Librarian, writes: 

Here at Kensington & Chelsea libraries, our volunteers do a fantastic job: this is just a quick update on the computer help sessions being run by our amazing helpers!


Volunteers have been running sessions in Kensington Central Library for some time now. As time goes on not only are they able to teach others new skills on computers, but also on a variety of devices:  it isn’t just PCs out there any more…

Our volunteers can help you to get to grips with:

  • Laptops
  • Phones (e.g iPhones and Android devices)
  • Tablets (e.g. iPads)

They have also been able to master new skills themselves through the use of these devices, often learning alongside their students. I was able to witness this myself when I had my first go on Windows 8!

If you are a beginner or want to learn more, then feel free to come along to one of our sessions in the community space in Kensington Central Library. You can either come along to one of our drop-in sessions on Saturdays or book a session on Tuesday or Thursday mornings. For times of these sessions and other regular adult events please check our website here.

So a big thank you to our great volunteers for keeping these sessions up and running and being prepared to teach users not just on library computers but much more!

If you are interested in volunteering in Kensington and Chelsea, either in one of our libraries or somewhere else, then please get in touch with the Kensington and Chelsea Volunteer Centre.

The Brompton Blog – December 2013

It’s that time of year again… 

Brompton Librarian Steph writes:

It has been a busy month at Brompton library. We have noted a surge in new members and our books seem to be flying off the shelves as the frosty weather convinces borrowers to stock up on reading material for the festive period. Whether you need some ideas for Christmas recipes or fancy browsing through our brand new crime and romantic fiction titles, sports and celebrity biographies or a fantastic selection of new cookery books we have something for everyone. Why not browse some of our stock through the online catalogue

Elisabeth impressed us all by making an Advent calendar which stands in the toddlers’ corner of the Children’s area. As someone who can’t cut a straight line, let alone a circle, I’m in awe of people who can do crafts!

Advent calendar
Advent calendar

 On the first Saturday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 our story and craft sessions allow young children to participate in reading and small art projects. With just over a week until Christmas, Brompton library has been getting into the spirit with a seasonal craft and story session. Library assistant Rahima and Lisa, our Saturday volunteer, had the kids making lots of Rockin’ Robins! They loved it, and for the tiny tots there are always colouring-in sheets.

 The theme of our monthly craft session was based on a story about a generous robin who gave away his seven vests to keep all the other animals he met warm. This story inspired the children to create their own robin. Using paper plates which were folded in half to create a rocking robin; the children sat around the table, colouring pens poised on paper ready to colour. The choice of colour varied as one child confidently says to the other children, “maybe a thousand years ago, there were multicoloured robins”, so with those words of encouragement the children chose their favourite colours. When the power of imagination lets loose our creativity, the end results are that we produce things that are unique; this was evident in this craft session as there were multicoloured, stripy and flowery rocking robins.

Rockin' robins
Rockin’ robins

 Intergenerational project at Brompton

After the success of Brompton’s collaboration with Celebrate My Library on the “Creepy Library” book I‘m very pleased to be working with them again on a project called “Our Community, Our Stories”. This will bring together young people from our Chatterbooks group and older residents from the Kensington and Chelsea Older Residents Forum to explore the differences between life as a child now and life for a child as it was when our older volunteers were young. The children will then do some creative writing around the conversations they’ve had and this will be brought together in book form, again with everyone’s name in print. To get this going, Celebrate my Library (Hilary and Vicky) and I were an agenda item at the forum’s AGM where we explained the project.

Integenerational volunteers
Intergenerational volunteers

 The happy result was that we signed up at least half a dozen volunteers!

Intergenerational volunteers
Intergenerational volunteers

Mingling with residents over coffee and cakes – it’s a hard life!

Intergenerational volunteers
Intergenerational volunteers

 We will keep you posted in January on how the project is going.

Library Volunteers Event at Kensington Town Hall – Tuesday 26 November

 Volunteers and volunteer mentors met at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall to recognise and celebrate the wonderful people who help us across our library service. These types of volunteer roles are varied – IT sessions, homework club, summer reading challenge and story-time classes – to name but a few.

 Sue Cornish, our Adult Learning Coordinator,  did a sterling job in organising the whole event whilst two volunteers (Celia and Mark) and I were invited up to say a few words. Mark was one of the first volunteers to join us – his time with us stems from when he turned 40 and realised that he wanted to give something back to the community. Just as inspiring was Celia – like so many of us as a child spent many happy hours in the library and has for three years been helping us with our summer Reading Challenge at Brompton and Chelsea.

In the Mayor's Parlour
In the Mayor’s Parlour

 It was clear from everyone how much of a privilege it is to work with our volunteers and that they too get so much from volunteering their time and effort.

I would like to dedicate our blog to all of our wonderful volunteers: Celia, Jane, Lisa, Raed, Srishti, Megan, Gunjan and Mathilde – we at Brompton all love working with you!