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Issue 344 – Charity coffee mornings check out of library

A GROUP of fundraisers, who held coffee mornings for years at Frome Library, raising money for the local air ambulance, have been told that they will no longer be able to hold the events at the library, as the space is needed for new self service machines which are to be introduced.

The coffee mornings have been held in the library on the first Wednesday of the month for seven years, raising substantial sums for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
The events were started by Frome WI, but were continued by volunteers when the WI disbanded.
Regular attendees who are disappointed that they can no longer enjoy coffee and a chat at the library, hope that another location can be found.
Pat Adair, who helped run the mornings said, “We used to run on the first Wednesday of every month, people enjoyed it and we enjoyed it. We got to know a lot of the people coming in, and they looked forward to it as somewhere to come for a chat, coffee, and biscuit. We’d charge 50p and often as not they’d give us extra. The library was just great, people could come in and change their library books and have a coffee.”
Local resident, Bill Savage, who attended the last meeting said, “These market day sessions became very popular and over the seven years they collected a fine sum for a very worthy cause.
“Sadly, nothing lasts forever and the Somerset County Council have had to discover new avenues of income that their libraries will now have to follow to help justify their existence. The corner of the Frome Library used by the ladies will soon be allocated to machines and in consequence they have been given notice to vacate their free site.
“It would be nice if a town centre business could accommodate our ladies in their hour of need. Alas, so far no good Samaritan has appeared.”
The group would like to continue their fundraising mornings if a new location can be found in the town centre. They would need somewhere with tea and coffee making facilities and disabled access.
A Somerset County Council spokesperson said, “The reception area of Frome Library is to be redesigned to allow the installation of self-service equipment. These plans are unrelated to discussions about the use of library space for voluntary and charitable purposes.”
Pictured: Volunteers at the last charity coffee morning.