An invitation to Lunch at the Library and more library news for August

Phased reopening of our libraries

During the last few weeks we have reopened Crownhill, Devonport, Efford, North Prospect and Peverell libraries. This means that all 11 libraries are now open for you to borrow and return books or pre-book a computer.

We have measures in place to keep you and our staff safe during this unusual time. Customers will register for Test and Trace, either using the NHS app or in writing and must wear a face covering at all times when inside a library building.

You can find out more information and current opening hours on our website. We really look forward to seeing you again over the next few weeks.

Get Online WeekPublic use PC

Next week is Get Online Week. There are lots of ways that you can get online with Plymouth Libraries.

  • Pre-book a computer in a library
  • Download an eBook, eMagazine, eAudiobook, eComic or eNewspaper
  • Reserve and renew your physical books by using the Plymouth Library app or website
  • Take a look at other online resources

We would love to hear how our online services have benefitted you so please email us at with your feedback.

Find out more on our website.

October Half TermAbove Bounds 2

It’s not possible to hold the Children’s Festival inside libraries this year but don’t worry, that doesn't mean the fun has to stop!

Join Above Bounds Theatre Collective for a week of storytelling - from traditional tales, to magical new worlds, artists will be bringing you a story a day from Monday to Friday during October half-term.

Why not gather the family round and head to the Plymouth Libraries Facebook page every day at 10am to watch the fun unfold, and let those little (and big) imaginations go wild!

You can find out more about Above Bounds by following them on social media: @abovebounds,

eBooks and eAudiobooksLibby

You can borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks for free. Just download the Libby App from your app store.

You can borrow up to eight titles at a time for a maximum of three weeks; titles can be borrowed again if nobody else is waiting for them. They'll automatically be returned to us at the end of the loan period so there is no way of incurring fines!

Find out more information here.

Library AppLibrary app

The Plymouth Libraries App allows you to easily renew your books at home.

Just download the app from your app store onto your mobile phone or tablet. Then just log in using your library card number and your PIN.

You can also renew your books online using your library card number and PIN via our website.

 eComics and magazines

We are very excited about a new online service that has just been launched with Plymouth Libraries. You can now download digital comics with the RBdigital app!

Choose from over 1500 comics including Spider-Man, Thor, X-men, Judge Dredd, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and many more!

You can find out more on our website

What's on this month

We have over 80 activities a week, from rhymetimes, Lego and Code Clubs for children to gadget sessions, job clubs, memory cafés and book groups for adults.

For all the latest on what's happening in your library visit our online calendar.

Ballard Trust School Grants

The Albert Casanova Ballard Deceased Trust provide grants for school uniforms and additional kit such as books, football boots etc. Trustees of the Estate of Albert Casanova Ballard invite applications from parents of boys aged 11-16 years old who attend the Air Defence Squadron, Plymouth secondary and central schools or organisations and clubs in Plymouth.

Applicants must live within the City of Plymouth, live within seven miles of the Ballard Institute and attend a secondary school within the city.

The latest update is that due to Covid-19, successful applicants will be refunded retrospectively.

Requests for an application form should be sent to:

The Chairperson of the Ballard Trust
Mail Suite 200
91 Mayflower Street

Please also include a LARGE envelope with a LARGE letter stamp.  The closing date for requesting application forms is Wednesday 30 September 2020, so the postmark should be no later than this date.

The closing date for completed applications is Thursday 22 October 2020 with the reimbursement being received during October half term.

Connect with us on Facebook


We regularly post information, activities and events happening in the Plymouth area on our Facebook page.  Stay up to date by liking us on Facebook.

Guidance for young carers

Please find below a link to the latest guidance for young carers and young adult carers who are providing care for somebody during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND logo

Educational Psychology Services: Emotionally Based School Avoidance
Members of the Educational Psychology Service  (Plymouth City Council) have consulted with a range of professionals including colleagues in Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and schools to produce this set of documents for schools and families.  This area of work is particularly relevant for children with social, emotional and mental health needs as well as those who are anxious about returning to school following lockdown.

 Download these resources from the PIAS website:

·       Emotionally Based School Avoidance – Guidance for Parents

·       Emotionally Based School Avoidance – Guidance for Children

·       Emotionally Based School Avoidance – Guidance for Young People


Mayflower 400 launches new ‘My Mayflower’ featuring Mayflower II footage in the first of two new digital series’

 Mayflower400 is bringing on stream two new digital series of online programmes in the build-up to the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower on 16 September 2020.

‘My Mayflower’ and ‘Virtual Voyages’ will cover different elements of the Mayflower story around personal and destination links into this piece of history. Featuring historic on water footage from UK and US destinations, the first in the My Mayflower series will transport viewers on a past and present digital journey across the Atlantic.

Watch the story of the Mayflower II on the Mayflower 400 UK digital channels on Saturday, May 23 at 5pm (UK time) - the first in a series of videos entitled My Mayflower.

Go to or click here for more information and to watch.



Mayflower 400. The Story Of Boston, Lincs.

Mayflower 400 is delighted to  announce the second film in the Mayflower 400 Virtual Voyages series, that features the story of Boston, Lincolnshire.

Discover how the Mayflower Pilgrims made a daring escape despite being betrayed, locked up and hauled before the courts in our Virtual Voyage of Boston, UK, this Saturday 6 June at 5pm.

As well as looking inside the very cells where the likes of Bradford and Brewster were held, find out the story behind why Boston, USA, got its name from the bustling English port of Boston.

This Lincolnshire town played a critical role in the Mayflower story and the Pilgrims’ future and the film explores its fascinating history through the eyes of people who live there, today, and know it best.

Watch the Virtual Voyage of Boston at 5pm UK time on Facebook and via the website here

Healthy Start Scheme

Please look at the link below to see if you are eligible for free voucher to purchase fruit, veg, milk and vitamins. This is a scheme for low income families and for families whose income may have been affected by the current climate. If you are a woman who is more than 10 week pregnant or have children under the age of 4 and are in receipt one of the following benefits you may be able to apply for this scheme.

Income support, Income based JSA, Income related ESA, Child Tax Credits (with a family income under £16,190) or Universal Credits (with a family income of under £408 per month). Please follow this link for full details, these voucher can be worth up to £50.00 per month,

Image result for Barnardos HYPE
Barnardos HYPE Service in Bristol and Plymouth supports young people to create change in health services, working particularly close with mental health services.

Young people have created a blog so that young people can support each other and encourage each other to stay positive.

All of the posts are created by young people aged 25 and under who used Barnardos and other support services.

The blog page is edited by young colleagues involved in HYPE.

We would be grateful if you could share the blog page widely with young people.

We want other young people to get involved creating block pages and sharing their ideas, thoughts and feelings. To get involved messages on Facebook or email us at

We have a canva account that can be shared with young people to create their entries.


Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND logo
PIAS Update

PIAS is able to support you during the present Covid-19 pandemic.  Our phone lines remain open and you can call us on 01752 258933.

 Please see the links below for other relevant information for parents, sibling carers and young carers.

 Please note the Health Services link below which gives information on the Child Development Centre (CDC) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

 Health Services SEND during Covid-19

Covid 19 Children with special education needs and/or disabilities.


Covid 19 Send advice  and information for children, families and young people


Parenting dedicated phone support for families (Plymouth)


Support for sibling carers


Support in Plymouth for young carers


Connect with us on Facebook

We regularly post information, activities and events happening in the Plymouth area on our Facebook page.  Stay up to date by liking us on Facebook

Grandparents Plus (@GPlusinfo) | Twitter
We have lots of news to update you with; including a government announcement of funding for local authorities, kinship carers speaking out in the media, and changes to Grandparents Plus services to meet the demands of the coronavirus epidemic. 
Thank you for everything you are doing to support kinship carers during this very difficult time. Please know that we're here to support you as much as we can.

Grandparents Plus welcomes the Education Secretary’s announcement of £8 million in funding to support special guardianship and adoptive families during the coronavirus crisis.

The additional funding through the Adoption Support Fund means local authorities and regional adoption agencies will be able to buy services from voluntary sector providers, such as telephone support for special guardians and virtual peer to peer support. The government expects local authorities and regional adoption agencies to ensure that any funding sought includes services to eligible special guardian families.

 Find out more about how your local authority can commission our Kinship Connected service, offering tailored, local support from project workers experienced in kinship care.


Changing Grandparents Plus services to meet the demands of the coronavirus epidemic

Kinship carers are feeling particularly worried and isolated during the lockdown. We have been working hard to adapt our work with local authorities to deliver targeted and specialist one-to-one support for kinship families within the restrictions of the current epidemic.

Our project workers are providing one-to-one support and peer support by telephone or using Whatsapp, Zoom or Skype. We have also provided guides on using these technologies can be found in our COVID-19 user resources.

We have invested in additional capacity for our free specialist advice service via phone, email or web form, including new evening sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and more frequent live Facebook advice surgeries. We have also increased investment in additional capacity to apply for grants for essential items.

We are also connecting carers with foodbanks and volunteering networks.

We are sending out weekly e-news to all members of our Kinship Community of 7,000, which is free for them to join here.

We are now working on scaling up our Someone Like Me peer-to-peer telephone support service, which we will update you on soon


Details of the next professionals meeting

The next professionals group meeting will be on 21 April from 2.30 – 4.30. We currently have capacity via Zoom for 20 social workers to join us, if more people want to take part we can plan additional sessions or have another look at meeting options.

This meeting will focus on the impact of coronavirus on kinship care families.

Prior to the meeting, please think about which topics you would like to discuss (eg, keeping carers safe, contact, finance, supporting children) and we’d be grateful if you could share any relevant resources your team has developed. We will gather these thoughts and resources prior to the meeting when you sign up using the booking email below.

Meeting agenda:

  • Update on kinship carer’s concerns – including Grandparents Plus kinship carer consultations, advice service and programmes insight; feedback from local authorities
  • Update on the Adoption Support Fund and policy and practice guidance – an opportunity to share issues or concerns from a practice perspective
  • Discussion on key issues and resources to share
  • Frequency and format of future meetings.

Please book your place by emailing your name, title, team and local authority name to


 Advice for kinship carers who have children’s services involvement during the coronavirus outbreak

We are doing our utmost to keep kinship carers informed with all the latest developments in relation to the coronavirus. The government has issued new guidance on children’s social care which is relevant for kinship carers whose children have a social worker. This includes kinship foster carers, some special guardians, and children on child protection plans or child in need plans.

 Read the advice


Talking to children about kinship care

We know that becoming a kinship carer rarely happens without a range of emotions coming into play. Every family and every child is unique. In order to tackle these issues we have created new content on the website dedicated to this topic. It contains a wonderful selection of tips through peer learning from kinship carers and also useful links and advice.
 "Unexpected call from daughter changed my life and I had to give up everything"

Grandfather Graham Leach, 63, was told his daughter’s children would be taken away so he stepped in to raise the boys himself rather than seeing them in care.

This is an emotional and powerful story, which tells of the hardships and joys of being a kinship carer.

“If we come down with it, who is going to step in? What would become of the children? We’ve got nobody that we can call on.”

Wendy highlights the concerns shared by many of us during these challenging times. She speaks at length to an influential news site about her experiences. Also our CEO Lucy sets out what the government needs to do in this time to better support kinship carers.

Useful links
 For more details about the Kinship Connected support service for special guardians, please visit our website.

 If anyone feels they would like to access this service please contact Jo Penk via email:

The Plympton Hub - Plymouth Online Directory
Are you a parent or carer who has a child or teenager who is experiencing anxiety? Would it be helpful to you to have an opportunity to share concerns and talk about your child or teenager, and the issues and problems.  We can also think together about strategies you are using to enable you to feel more confident and supported. The Hub are currently offering one hour 1:1 sessions from 10am - 11am on Tuesday mornings during term time this January and February, with an optional follow up appointment.  We currently have dates available.  For further information or to book a session please email

 Did you know that adults earning less than the national living wage who live in Plymouth will continue to benefit from fully funded training this year? It's true! Adults who earn £15,736 or less could qualify for subsidised or even free training.
Want to find out if you qualify?

Simply give us a call on 01752 660713 or pop in to our training centre on Mutley Plain.