V22 Communities is a registered charity (1180229) that is supported by the wider V22 group. V22 Communities receives no funding from local or national government to sustain the libraries, instead it has to raise the funds to support three historic buildings in Lewisham and run vital community services from them. These are buildings that need to be warm, well-lit, clean, tidy and safe, costs that run to tens of thousands each year, before you even consider the library functions themselves – over 40 pcs and three photocopiers across the three sites, plus superfast broadband capable of taking up to forty users at a time and software to manage use and safety.
We can part fund this through renting out studio space and community space for hire, but we need your help to cover the shortfall and keep us moving forward and filling the gaps as more and more government services are cut.
Gone are the days when libraries were simple book-loaning buildings and centres for information, we are now important community buildings that provide the sort of services no longer available from services that have been cut or dismantled entirely – legal aid, citizens advice, job centres, community centres etc.
The computer access we offer is vital for so many:
- School children doing homework with no access to the internet at home, or perhaps one PC that they have to share with siblings and parents
- Job seekers forced online to search for jobs and provide evidence of their searches or face losing benefits
- Senior citizens who are facing a digital world for the first time and have no idea how to work a computer
- Families who are spread around the globe, only able to keep in contact via email services at their local library
- Refugees and immigrants looking to learn more about life in the UK
- Students studying online courses
- Parents seeking support for their children, information on schools, colleges, or simply local free groups for pre-schoolers
It should hopefully go without saying that our books are there to be enjoyed by all, but it is not just about enjoyment, it is about knowledge – from topic books for children, to ‘Skills for life’ books for adults, we have books that can help you with your new hobby, or to aid your physical or mental well-being, not to mention those that help you write a CV or put together a business plan or marketing strategy; there really are books for all!
Libraries provide a safe space and a relaxed space for everyone, people can just come in and sit and read, they can meet with others, learn about what is on in their local community and what other opportunities there are for them. All of these services are open to everyone and all of them are free. Parks and Libraries are becoming the last places that are free for everyone to use, and which appeal to everyone, from all walks of life from babies to our most senior citizens and everyone in between.
What can you do to help?
There are several practical things you can do to help, obviously financial support is of great benefit, and if you can afford to make a donation it would really help us out.
Donate books, CDs, Vinyl or DVDs – anything that is in good condition , you can either bring them into the library or, if possible, bring direct to Leaf & Groove in Forest Hill – see here for times and contact details www.leafandgroove.com
Finally, even if you don’t have any time, books or money to donate, you can still help us out by filling in the form below. We rely on funding from Trusts and Foundations, any evidence we can provide to support that will help us out enormously.