A LIBRARY volunteer who underwent a double lung transplant has praised the healing properties of a community-run library as it celebrates its first anniversary.

Barbara Agar was 27 when she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease systemic sclerosis and underwent a double lung transplant operation at the Freeman Hospital in 2015.

Ensuing reactions to the drug treatments left her blind for over a year and temporarily unable to use her arms and legs.

Yet despite these setbacks, Mrs Agar - who was unable to see well enough to read just last August - joined the Globe library in Stokesley as a volunteer in November and has helped celebrate the venue passing its first anniversary of being community-led.

Mrs Agar, of Tanton, said she was nervous about volunteering but said it has helped combat some of the isolation she felt during her recovery.

She said: “I felt useless, ‘I thought what do I do with myself?’

“I love reading and I was always passionate about it and I got so angry about what is happening with the libraries closing down.”

Fuelled by her passion, Mrs Agar joined The Globe and applied expertise gained in her globe-trotting career as a carnival artist designer and director and former art teacher to run classes at the library.

And whilst The Globe benefitted from her experience, Mrs Agar also reaped the rewards of being part of the community-run venture.

She said: “Living out where I do I was very isolated and because my work was international and national, I didn’t know many people locally.

“I have not been able to have children and had no community links with the town and this (volunteering) is what has helped me know people and feel part of Stokesley really.

“And they are such genuine lovely people, it is a really positive environment to be part of, one of the best I have ever known.”

Mrs Agar’s contribution the library was praised by its manager Jane Hall who described her as an “inspiration”.

She added: “She has been through a lot but she is still very positive and we are grateful for what she is doing for The Globe because she is bringing all her creativity and past experience with her.”