Living Well in Wales

In 2019, Welsh Libraries launched Living Well in Wales, a campaign to promote the nation’s wellbeing and encourage a happier and healthier Wales.

It’s a nationwide initiative that brings together public libraries and partner organisations to highlight the important role libraries play at the heart of their local communities and promote the thousands of events and activities promoting health and wellbeing held in libraries each year.

During 2019, focusing on four key awareness campaigns, the initiative shone a spotlight on the wealth of resources relating to health and wellbeing on offer in public libraries as well as the part these facilities have to play as social hubs in their communities, helping to combat isolation, particularly amongst the older generation, as well as promoting community participation.

Welsh Libraries teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote activities and resources during  Dementia Action Week in May to raise awareness and enable communities to make small changes that could support people with dementia to live well.

In September, the campaign supported Blood Pressure UK’s  ‘Know Your Numbers! Week by hosting events and promoting information that encouraged people to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to maintain healthy numbers.

The British Dyslexia Association was the key partner for raising awareness during  National Dyslexia Week in October, while Mind, Time to Change Wales and The Samaritans worked with Welsh Libraries on Blue Monday in January to encourage people to try something new to improve their physical and mental wellbeing at the start of the New Year.

Do Something Different Day was the final instalment of Welsh Libraries’ Living Well in Wales campaign that brought together public libraries and partner organisations to highlight the important role libraries play at the heart of their local communities and to promote the thousands of events and activities promoting health and wellbeing held in libraries each year.

More information on the above initiatives can be found here in a document produced by Cardiff Libraries.

Many library authorities in Wales offer regular exercise classes such as Yoga and Pilates. Check out your library’s event calendar for more details.

Vice-Chair of the Society of Chief Librarians (Cymru) and Lead Library & Strategy Manager at Cardiff Council, Nicola Pitman, said:

“Libraries are the perfect places to deliver a range of health and wellbeing benefits to local communities.

They are an excellent resource both in terms of the all the information and materials they have on offer but also, as a hub or focal point in their neighbourhood where people can get together for events or activities beneficial to their wellbeing.

The Living Well in Wales campaign seeks to celebrate our public libraries and encourage people to get more out of their local facility. We’re delighted to be working with fantastic partners to promote this important agenda to help people live well in our communities.”

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said:

“Our hubs and libraries are trusted community spaces with skilled and knowledgeable staff that can provide people with help and assistance to access health and wellbeing information, signposting to support services and access to social activities.

In Cardiff, we’re delighted to be on board with the Living Well in Wales campaign and look forward to delivering events and activities in our hubs and libraries throughout the year to help build healthier local communities.”

For more information about the Living Well in Wales campaign, please contact Andrea Currie, Cardiff Council Media & Communications team on 02920 873107 or email: acurrie@cardiff.gov.uk