An innovative project to help tackle lockdown isolation is being run from libraries in Honiton, Axminster, Seaton and Ottery.

Staff are spreading some friendship by giving out locally-designed postcards to library users so they can send messages of support to others.

The idea is that people making use of the library’s Choose and Collect service will receive one of the postcards in their collection bags. They can write a message on the postcard and send it to someone they love, perhaps a care home resident or someone who is self-isolating.

The four bright and cheerful postcards have been designed by East Devon-based illustrator Rosie Johnson, two of them as line drawings so they can be coloured in.

The initiative will run across 54 libraries run by the Libraries Unlimited charity and will include East Devon libraries. Staff will be distributing 3,500 postcards in total, with 60 cards going to each library.

Zoe Buttling, Evolve programme co-ordinator for Libraries Unlimited, said: “We have had a great response to the A-Z of Wellbeing project, which has been running since the beginning of January, and the full project can be found at our website

“We commissioned local artist Rosie Johnson to design four postcards for free distribution across all of our libraries, including Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth, Honiton, Axminster and Seaton.

“We thought it would be a lovely gesture to pop this free postcard into Choose and Collect bags, encouraging our customers to send it on to loved ones or someone who may be lonely at this time. Hopefully, we will spread a little bit of positivity.”

Libraries Unlimited resumed lifeline library services on January 18.

The charity said it can also support families by providing books to support home learning and reading for pleasure.

Lifeline library services are offered by appointment only so people are advised to contact their library via email or phone to book.

Tabitha Witherick, head of library service and customer experience, said: “We know that library services are a lifeline and we’ve valued feedback demonstrating how reading and library staff have made the last few months more bearable.”