GRASSINGTON Hub and community library has been named North Yorkshire’s library of the year.

The community library took the title for its outstanding performance over the last 12 months, in particular the increased visitor numbers, which were reflected in increased use of library services.

Carol Headley, a trustee of the hub, said: “A lot of our success is due to our committed volunteers and we are very proud of what they put into the organisation.

“Part of the reason we have grown is that we are doing far more than just offering library services and that has brought a lot more people into the hub over the last couple of years. Once people realise what we have to offer they keep coming back.”

The hub runs a monthly luncheon club and has recently started afternoon tea sessions. Volunteers manage the Helping Hands scheme, which arranges transport for people needing help to attend medical appointments. The hub also acts as a box office for Grassington Festival and other events and issues parking permits on behalf of the parish council.

“We are trying new things all the time,” said Carol. “We are very aware that we have an elderly population in Grassington and the surrounding area. We are keen to reduce social isolation and improve well-being, so much of what we do is focused on that. I don’t think we would have been quite as successful without the support of our outreach librarian from the county council.”

The awards were announced by chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, Cllr Jim Clark, during a series of events as part of national Volunteers Week.

He said: “I am delighted to have presented this well-deserved award to the people who have made Grassington library such a success under community management. They are a shining example of what North Yorkshire communities can achieve, as are all the community library volunteers who have maintained and enhanced such a well-loved service.

“I have been privileged during Volunteers Week to meet so many people who generously give their time and skills to support their communities in so many ways. My gratitude extends to those thousands of volunteers that I wasn’t able to meet personally this week.”

As well as meeting about 80 library volunteers at several events during Volunteers Week, Cllr Clark also met volunteers that support their communities and county council services in other ways.

He also visited the Stepping Stones garden in Skipton, which provides a service for adults with learning difficulties.

He met volunteers who work alongside the service users in looking after the garden and also volunteers from the county council’s home-composting Rotters.