Festival organisers hope to teach adults new skills

Learn how to make healthy chocolates
Learn how to make healthy chocolates

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LIBRARIES across Portsmouth are uniting for the forthcoming National Festival of Learning.

The aim of the event is to give adults in the community a variety of new skills to use in their daily lives.

We just want to make people more aware of what they’re eating, but still enjoy something that tastes great.

Kerry Wheatley, Choc & Truffle

Celebrating life-long learning, the festival shows that people can learn something new at any stage during their lives.

Running from this Friday, until June 30, events will be taking place at Southsea Library, Central Library and Carnegie Library.

Pat Garrett, Macmillan library co-ordinator in Portsmouth, said: ‘Years ago it was Adult Learning Week, but it has evolved quite a bit since then.

‘It is a national initiative, and libraries are all about this sort of thing.

‘I think that it ties in rather nicely with our mission as a library – to give people the chance to try something brand new.’

Poetry and crime writing, a self-hypnosis workshop, photography, yoga and money management are all on the agenda.

Pat added: ‘Each year we have quite a variety of events; however, one thing that we rarely ever do is repeat those events the following year.

‘Adult learning is something that has become much more difficult to come across; I think that libraries therefore have an important role to play.’

‘We want people to find something new, that may become their new interest or hobby.’

One of the events that will be taking place is healthy chocolate-making, which will be run by local chocolatiers Choc & Truffle – who are based in Hilsea.

Kerry Wheatley said: ‘I used to work in Southsea Library before I started my own business.

‘They knew about the work that I do and approached me about doing something for the Festival of Learning.

‘The move towards healthy chocolate is something that we are big advocates of; the chocolate we use, for example, doesn’t have any of the palm oils that some of the big companies put into their chocolate bars.

‘We just want to make people more aware of what they’re eating, but still enjoy something that tastes great.’

In one of the other events, author and inspirational speaker Ann Carver will be giving a money mindfulness talk at Central Library on June 16.

She hopes to show people how to recognise and rein in emotional spending habits.

Ann will also share her personal story of how her spending habits spiralled out of control after a family trauma and reveal how she took that control back.

For a full list of events, people can go to facebook.com/portsmouthlibraries.