Sheffield library volunteers named community champions

A Sheffield library has been named The Moor Community Award champion, thanks to the dedication of its team of volunteers who refused to let reading become a dying hobby.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 10:56 am

The Library of Life, based in the city, was birthed from The Basil Griffith Library which aimed at better engaging the black community with reading but a lot more people from various backgrounds are getting involved over time.

The library director, John Kamara said although he was shocked to learn that the library won the award, he was pleased that their work is being noticed and it has inspired them to do more for the community.

He said: “The community has responded to it in such a positive light and I feel like a champion. It actually inspired me to work harder, and do bigger, better things.

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The Moor Pride in Sheffield Award winner John Kamara with The Moor's Elaine Retallic. Picture Scott Merrylees
The Moor Pride in Sheffield Award winner John Kamara with The Moor's Elaine Retallic. Picture Scott Merrylees

“We have put in a lot of work over the years, and a lot of volunteers have come from different backgrounds around Sheffield and all of us put our ideas together collectively.

“It is nice to be recognised for the work that we do.”

The Moor Community Award is a campaign to recognise unsung heroes throughout the city where the winners will be given monetary rewards of £250 to help with their cause.

The campaign is in association with Aberdeen Standard Investment (ASI), which owns The Moor.

The Moor Pride in Sheffield Award winner John Kamara with The Moor's Elaine Retallic. Picture Scott Merrylees

The 27-year-old maths teacher said the cash prize will help the volunteers buy more books for the library and reinvest in their project by providing a free tuition programme for disadvantaged children across Sheffield.

“That is going to give us a good start to the materials that we need,” he said.

Commenting on their win, Centre Manager for The Moor Sheffield, Amanda Phillips said: “I love books, I love going into libraries- but I am ‘getting on’, so I have nothing but admiration for them and their determination to make at the library a place for all ages and I wish them well.”

Mr Kamara said the library is organising a storytelling event on February 8 by bringing a lot of activities on the road, such as pop-up libraries at different venues.

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