Together – Towards Healthier, Happier Generations

Transforming Paderborn’s library into a vibrant hub combating loneliness with creative programmes, outreach and inclusive events for all.

The Local Challenge

Paderborn faces a growing epidemic of loneliness, with many residents lacking motivation and opportunities for social interaction. This affects people of all ages, decreasing quality of life and social participation. Addressing this challenge is urgent to enhance community well-being and cohesion. The goal is to create opportunities for residents to escape social and cultural loneliness, building a more connected and supportive community. 


 The Initiative  

Teaming up with a local project on gender and sexual orientation, this local library in Germany is transforming itself into a vibrant community hub by hosting a series of community events to help local people escape loneliness and isolation – paving the way towards happier, healthier living. Activities include outreach library work with a cargo bike, visiting retirement homes and refugee accommodation, designing postcards with children, joint walks with a library dog and information days with experts on loneliness. AI-focused events explore technology’s role in combating loneliness. An innovative initiative called CupTogether cups in library cafés signals openness to conversation, encouraging people to interact. 


What’s Next?

Guidebooks and media on loneliness and well-being will complement these activities, promoting social interaction and community cohesion.Loneliness” will unfortunately become an increasingly common theme in the coming years and will therefore be an important area of responsibility for Paderborn library and their project partner, SCHLAU Paderborn. By establishing a network of actors and the strong involvement of volunteers, the library has created an important space for the longevity of the project to help tackle loneliness and isolation in Paderborn over the long term. 


This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

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