New research highlights the impact of Suffolk Libraries Lifeline service
Research has shone a light on how the new Lifeline telephone service run by Suffolk Libraries has positively impacted people’s wellbeing during the pandemic. Suffolk Libraries created Lifeline, supported by Suffolk County Council and the East of England Co-op, as a response to the first lockdown to help lonely and vulnerable library customers. Between March 2020 and July 2020 library staff made over 6,700 calls to ‘check in’ on library customers and have a chat. The reach of the library service’s network enabled staff to focus on older people and those who are particularly isolated or vulnerable. The service has continued during subsequent lockdowns and has now made over 10,000 calls.
The social impact team at Moore Kingston Smith carried out research into Lifeline which calculated an impressive return on investment for the service of over £4 for every £1 spent which shows that Lifeline is creating significant social value. This is a way of calculating ‘value’ not in its narrow (financial) sense but in its true sense, recognising the importance of social, environmental and economic wellbeing across communities and lives. It also shows the wider value of libraries and how they have adapted to meet the needs of people across Suffolk.