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Act of kindness puts bricks in place for library sessions

A RANDOM act of kindness by library staff in Swansea has more than been repaid with a donation of equipment that will benefit scores of children.

Back in September volunteers were hard at work helping out with the BBC’s DIY SOS Big Build programme that saw a modern support centre and flats built for young people leaving care in Fforestfach.

One day the weather was particularly bad and librarians at the Swansea Council run Fforestfach Library offered those taking part to use their staff room to change out of their sopping clothes.

Among those who took up the offer was James Harper, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Principality Building Society. He was so grateful for a bit of respite from the rain he left his business card with library manager Jane Walters and asked her to drop him a line if there was anything he could do to help the library.

Since becoming manager Jane had wanted to run a Lego Club for children but did not have the toy building blocks needed to start the initiative.

James was more than happy to help and has just dropped off a donation of Lego sets along with other equipment for the library.

Jane said: “Young children love stories and books but as they get older some children become disengaged with books and reading. As good literacy skills as so vital, I hope to encourage children to love books again by getting them to use their imaginations to create scenes form stories.

“I emailed James to ask him if he would be able to support me in these goals. He has provided us with some amazing Lego sets including a robot which can be programmed. Furthermore, we have been given a new iPad which can bring the robot to life.

“This amazing gift will allow us to run both Lego Literacy and Lego STEM activities. I am looking forward to having a library full of children having fun. A small act of kindness on our part has certainly resulted in some fantastic rewards.”

James said he was delighted he could help.

He added: “Each year we support lots of different community projects across Wales. It’s great to support the enthusiastic and hard-working team at Forestfach Library in Swansea who provide a great learning hub for local residents, especially young people.

“We hope the donation of an iPad and Lego bundle will provide a chance for the youngsters to develop their design and building skills, along with wider skills of communication and teamwork.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism & Major Projects, said: “As anyone who watched the BBC’s DIY SOS Children In Need special will know, there were so many positives to come out of the programme.

“Thanks to the kindness of our library staff and the generosity of companies like the Principality Building Society, these good news stories just continue.

“Our libraries in Swansea are a great resource for young people and they stage countless activities to encourage youngsters to pick up books and stretch their imaginations. I’m sure the new Lego Clubs will be a huge success.”