THE countdown has begun for the launch of Helmsley community library, which from April 1 will be run entirely by volunteers.

And the steering group behind the project has now putting an urgent call out for extra pairs of helping hands.

People in the town are being asked if they can spare a couple of hours – whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly – to help staff the library. Training is provided..

The library will remain open 16.5 hours a week, and will continue to offer a wide range of services and facilities.

Steering group chair Jeanne Brown said: “The library is a vital community resource, and we couldn’t see it taken away. It’s important for so many age groups in the town, young and old.

“As well as all the services it offers, it’s a safe place for vulnerable people, and a place where people can come and see a friendly face. That cannot be underestimated.”

She added: “Without volunteers we can’t open. We don’t need people to commit to full days or huge chunks of time - just spare a couple of hours once a month would be a huge help – and it’s so rewarding.

“We’d like to open the same hours as the library does currently, but it will depend on volunteers and we are willing to be flexible.”

For more information call 01609-534555 or email