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Community activities in libraries

Find a group to learn a new skill, or come along to one of our regular craft fairs.

Belle Parole! Italian Conversation Group

Come and flex your language muscles at our friendly and informal conversation group with the guidance of a native speaker. Explore various topics and meet other learners and enthusiasts, gaining confidence as you do. Open to speakers with elementary and intermediate language proficiency.

Open to learners on levels A2 – B1. Not suitable for beginners

Event details Castelnau:

  • Date: Second and fourth Friday of the month
  • Time: 3.30 to 4.30pm
  • Location: Castelnau Library
  • Price: Free, no booking required

Event details Richmond:

  • Date: Second and fourth Wednesday of the month (Starts Wednesday 12 June)
  • Time: 5 to 6pm
  • Location: Richmond Library
  • Price: Free, no booking required

Bingo extravaganza

Need a midweek pick-me-up? Eyes down and have a bit of fun! Weekly prizes to be won!

Event details:

  • Date: Last Wednesday of each month
  • Time: 2 to 3.30pm
  • Location: Ham Library, Ham Street, Ham. TW10 7HR  
  • Price: Free, no booking required

Club di Conversazione

Practice your Italian in a small group with a native speaker. Come and join the conversation with other learners and enthusiasts and gain confidence under the supervision of native Italian speaking volunteers! Speakers of all levels are invited to participate, although previous knowledge of Italian is helpful.

Event details:

  • Date:
    • Second Wednesday of the month - Group for mixed ability learners
    • Fourth Wednesday of the month - Group for intermediate and advanced learners
  • Time: 5 to 6pm
  • Location: Zoom
  • Price: Free, but booking is required. Email libraryvolunteer@richmond.gov.uk to book a place

Club del libro Italiano

Practice your Italian at this monthly shared reading group.

Improve your Italian language skills and learn more about Italian culture and literature at this informal book club. You will get the opportunity to read and discuss texts together on a range of topics from literature, food, the arts, linguistics, and much more!

Event details:

  • Date: Fourth Monday of each month
  • Time: 5 to 6pm
  • Location: Twickenham Library, Garfield Rd, Twickenham, TW1 3JT
  • Price: Free, no booking required

Cost of living advice project

Citizens Advice can advise you on how to access help with the cost of living crisis such as applying for grants, checking if you are getting the correct benefits and helping you with debts.

For further advice you can visit:

  • Whitton Library - Every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm
  • Ham Library - Every Friday from 1.30 to 4.30pm

No appointment needed.

Curtains up! A Play Reading Group

Join other theatre enthusiasts for a reading of a chosen play and broaden your knowledge of excellent writing at this friendly and spirited reading group.

You are welcome to take part, or simply listen and enjoy the reading! Suitable for all ages, and no preparation is required.

  • Date: Third Thursday of the month
  • Time: 2 to 4pm
  • Location: Twickenham Library

No booking required.

French Conversation Group

Join us and practise your French in a small group with a native speaker. Come and join the conversation with other learners and enthusiasts and gain confidence under the supervision of native French speaking volunteers! Speakers of all levels are invited to participate, although previous knowledge of French is helpful.

Event details:

  • Date: Every Wednesday
  • Time: 10.30 to 11.30am
  • Location: Whitton Library

¡Hola! Spanish Conversation Group

This group is currently taking a break. Please check this page for further updates.

Italian for beginners: Six session crash course

Get ready for your Mediterranean summer.

Whether you’d like to gain confidence in your language skills before your holiday, or get a thorough introduction to a new language, this course is for you!

Suitable for complete beginners, this six session course will cover Italian grammar and vocabulary, as well as reading and writing skills. You will be introduced to Italian culture and get the opportunity to develop everyday Italian conversational proficiency. Course materials will be provided, but please bring a pen and notepad.

Event details:

  • Date: Monday 1 July, Wednesday 3 July, Friday 5 July, Monday 8 July, Wednesday 10 July, and Friday 12 July 2024
  • Time: 4.30 to 6pm
  • Location: Twickenham Library
  • Price: Free, but booking is required. Book Italian for beginners.

Knit and natter

Do you enjoy knitting, crocheting or cross stitch? Bring whatever you're working on and join our friendly group for a morning of making. Crafters of all levels are welcome to join these informal gatherings to learn some tips, gain inspiration, and meet new people. Please bring your own yarn if you can.

  • Date: Second Monday and third Friday of the month
  • Time: 10am to 12 noon
  • Location: Twickenham Library (second Monday of the month) and Ham Library (third Friday of the month)

Mend, Make and Craft

Our Mend, Make and Craft classes take place from 10am to 12 noon every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Charges may apply - contact your local group facilitator for further details.

National Databank scheme

You may be eligible to receive free mobile phone data, texts and calls via the pilot National Databank scheme, run by libraries in partnership with the Good Things Foundation.

Find out more about the pilot National Databank scheme and how to apply.

Novel Steps

Combining the energetic discussion of a traditional book group with exploring our beautiful borough on foot, Novel Steps is a walking-and-reading group that meets monthly to chat about books, life, the universe, and everything. Each session follows a planned route, led by an experienced volunteer so you can focus on enjoying the gentle exercise, fresh air, and friendly conversation.

Walks are roughly three miles long, and copies of the books are provided in advance.

This month we will be walking a route around Barnes Common and Barnes Green while discussing The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell. This haunting story explores the seedy past of Victorian asylums, the oppression of family secrets, and the way truth can change everything. In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital - where she has been locked away for over sixty years.

Event details:

  • Date: Thursday 27 June 2024
  • Time: 10.20am
  • Location: Meet at Barnes Station
  • Price: The event is free, but booking is required

Book for this month's Novel Steps

Open Gaming Meetup

Whether you are a board game enthusiast or new to the scene, come and join us for a new monthly open gaming event and have fun, meet new people and try a new game or two. Choose from the dozens of games available or bring along your favourite to share.

Sessions run from 10am to 4pm on the following Saturdays each month:

  • First Saturday - Whitton Library
  • Second Saturday - Twickenham Library
  • Third Saturday - Richmond Old Town Hall, Whittaker Ellis Suite

This event is free and no booking is required. Please contact libraryvolunteer@richmond.gov.uk for more information.

Page Turners

Find comfort and connection through great literature. 

Our weekly Page Turner sessions, delivered in partnership with The Reader. Come along to one of our friendly, relaxing Shared Reading sessions, led by an experienced Reader Leader.

At Page Turners we read an extract or short story together, perhaps even a poem, pausing to discuss and share our thoughts. There is no need to read anything in advance, just join the sessions.

Hot drinks and biscuits are provided. Everyone is welcome.

Choose a session to suit you. No need to book.

Session details:

  • Date: Wednesdays
  • Time: 2 to 3.30pm
  • Location: Twickenham Library in the Arthur Burrell Room

Reading al fresco

Join nature-themed shared reading sessions in Teddington Library’s green and peaceful garden throughout the warmer months.

In these special summer sessions, enjoy the fresh air and conversation as we read aloud an extract from a great book, short story or poem. We then stop to talk about what we have read. 

There is no expectation for people taking part to read aloud or speak – it’s fine to just drop in to listen. Everyone is welcome.

Biscuits and cold drinks are provided.

  • Date: Every Friday between May and September
  • Time: 4 to 5pm
  • Location: Teddington Library
  • Price: Free event, no booking required

Reminiscence Café

Are you interested in socialising in an informal and friendly setting? Do you enjoy listening to talks on history and local interest topics?

Then our Reminiscence Café is just the right thing for you! Each month the Reminiscence Café provides a space to socialise and enjoy talks on a variety of topics by guest speakers.

Elizabeth Murray and Ham House - An insight into Stuart England and the Civil War

Elizabeth Murray was one of the most talented women of the Civil War period. Chatelaine of Ham House, Royalist, political hostess, linguist, and spy. Elizabeth's life and works tell us a great deal of what life was like in Civil War England.

Join biographer and volunteer Ham House tour guide, Serrie Meakins, on this journey into a turbulent 17th century England.

The Reminiscence Café meets monthly to celebrate history and culture and is a great opportunity to socialise and meet other residents.

  • Date: Friday 21 June
  • Time: 11am to 12.15pm
  • Location: Richmond Library Annexe
  • Price: Free event, no booking required

Riverside Poetry Group with Babs Lee

Nurture your love of poetry and have a go at writing your own material under the expert guidance of local published poet Babs Lee.

Each friendly and informal session will explore poetry from different authors, followed by a discussion over tea and biscuits, and the chance to write your own poem.

Event details Ham:

  • Date: First Tuesday of the month
  • Time: 11am to 12 noon
  • Location: Ham Library

Event details Richmond:

Transform Work Life

Transform Work Life offers a series of interactive seminars aimed at developing knowledge and understanding of your personal and professional skills, to enhance employability and to encourage potential transformation in your work and life situation.

Event details:

These sessions are free to Richmond residents, but you must register in advance. Find out more and register for Transform Work Life.

Updated: 31 May 2024

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