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Learning new skills and having fun is the ticket to a great day out at Bishop's Stortford library



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Bishop’s Stortford Library welcomed 800 guests to its Fun Palaces weekend for a vibrant showcase of quirky skills, talents and hobbies.

This was the second year the event had been held in The Causeway community hub and its purpose was to encourage people of all ages to take part in activities and learn something new.

Michelle Jolley, the library manager, said: “We had try your hand at percussion and ukulele with Annie Compton and Keef Jackman, who stayed for the whole three hours and had all ages joining in.”

Library, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford. Fun Palace event. Abi (5) showing off her mask. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (18603642)
Library, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford. Fun Palace event. Abi (5) showing off her mask. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (18603642)

Lesley Kelly also put on a session where visitors were able to decorate cup cakes. Michelle said: “[This] proved very popular and some great cakes were created. This was enjoyed mainly by children.

“Francesca made origami cats and dogs which proved popular and children liked the fact that they could take them home.

“We also had Jo Patel [from Phonic Stars] who provided children with different activities like making a mask.”

Library, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford. Fun Palace event. Jo (from Phonics Stars) and Abi (5) doing crafts. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (18603641)
Library, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford. Fun Palace event. Jo (from Phonics Stars) and Abi (5) doing crafts. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (18603641)

In addition to the crafty activities, youngsters also enjoyed some interactive educational sessions.

Michelle said: “Anne Brolly brought along river water from the Stort and had magnifying glasses for people to find out what invertebrate life can be found and what this tells us about the health of the river.

“Anne had brought along resources from Herts and Middlesex Wildlife trust and this activity engaged all ages and proved fascinating.”

Some exhibitors also taught visitors some key life skills. Chef Prosenjit Sanjay Kumar, who has worked for the King of Saudi Arabia and French celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, taught people how to eat healthily and make rainbow wraps. He also brought along his five-year-old daughter to introduce her to volunteering.

Library, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford. Fun Palace event. Charlie (8) 'pond dipping' and looking at the life in river water. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (18603715)
Library, The Causeway, Bishops Stortford. Fun Palace event. Charlie (8) 'pond dipping' and looking at the life in river water. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (18603715)

Visitors were also able to expand upon their IT skills. Michelle said: "We had a computer activity where Nigel brought in BBC Micro Bits so people could try their hand at programming."

The library team have been inundated with glowing feedback following the event.

Michelle said: "There was a lovely atmosphere where noise was allowed in the library and children could eat cake and have fun.

"The heart-warming thing for me was all of these people giving up some of their Saturday to teach others a skill. I also thought that it was pretty special of Prosenjit introducing his daughter to volunteering and giving back to the community. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this."



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