Books and banter

Books and Banter: Phyl Rafferty, 50+ development officer with Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA) and Paul Beck of the Community Action Team.
Books and Banter: Phyl Rafferty, 50+ development officer with Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA) and Paul Beck of the Community Action Team.

BOOKWORMS are being urged to join in the fun at a new club.

The Rift House Community Action Team (CAT) has launched the new Books and Banter club in conjunction with the town’s 50+ forum.

Residents can pop in and collect a book free of charge every Thursday between 9.30am and noon at the Masefield Centre, in Masefield Road.

They can then stay and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with friends from the neighbouring area during the drop-in session.

Books and Banter launched last week and half-a-dozen people attended.

Paul Beck, board member of the Rift House CAT, said: “The first morning was very promising and we had around six people come through the door.

“We look forward to the new session growing over the coming months.”

The Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA) is helping to support the new club through the 50+ forum.

Phyl Rafferty, 50+ development officer with HVDA, said: “We found that there was a lot of people feeling isolated and we wanted to bring them together as a group here.

“There is no reason for people to feel isolated with a club like this.”

Books and Banter will also act as a book exchange service so people can also bring in a book of their own to swap.

Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, who represents the Rift House ward and is involved with the Rift House CAT, has also encouraged residents to pop in.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “We asked the community what they would like to have in the area and one of the suggestions was a book exchange.

“There is a range of books that people can choose from in an open and welcoming environment.

“In these times of austerity we are looking to provide services in a different way.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to come together.”

The collection of books is made up of either old library stock or donated books.

There is free tea and coffee available for those that attend the weekly session.

Organisers are also hoping to attract guest speakers to future sessions.

For more information, call Coun Akers-Belcher on 07904 402864.