Warm and Welcome Spaces are existing spaces that are being promoted across Swindon this winter, and are available to anyone who might be struggling during the cost-of-living crisis.
So far, 10 Swindon Borough Council-run and community venues have been confirmed as being part of the scheme. Visitors won’t be asked why they’re there and there will be no obligation to take part in any activities which might be on offer, but if they want to chat and get to know some other local people, then they’ll be equally welcome.
The facilities at each venue will vary – some venues may offer hot drinks, free Wi-Fi or activities may be taking place. The services at each space could include:
- further support with the cost of living
- opportunities to participate in activities
- free internet access, computers and charging points
- a friendly environment to connect with others within the community
A full list of the current venues, which will be updated regularly, is on the Council’s website: www.swindon.gov.uk/warmandwelcome – including Gorse Hill Baptist Church, the Swindon Hub in the town centre, Wroughton Library, and some of the libraries and community centres across the Borough.
At some venues, staff will be on hand to provide guidance and support to those in need of further help with the cost of living crisis.
Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health Inequalities and Housing, Councillor Cathy Martyn, said: “Following the Council’s decision to declare a cost of living crisis earlier this autumn, organisations across the Borough have really rallied together to build a network of Warm and Welcome Spaces, and we’d like to thank all those who have signed up so far. But this is just the start.
“We’d like to see a Warm and Welcome Space in every community, so that no-one has to travel far, with information available about support if people need it. Some spaces may have advice and financial first aiders from Citizens Advice Swindon visit, while others might offer activities for children such as Lego, board games, colouring books, or books for adults and children. It will depend on what those spaces can offer.”
“We’re encouraging more businesses and charities in the Borough to register as a space – giving more people the ability to stay warm and safe this winter.
“We’d also encourage all people to also consider signing up to be a volunteer to help out at these places.”
Swindon Borough Council is also looking for volunteers to help out at the Warm and Welcome Spaces. People can enquire about becoming a volunteer by emailing email@example.com or calling the Live Well team on 01793 465 513.
If any organisation or business would like to register to be a Warm and Welcome Space, please contact our Live Well Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As this is a voluntary scheme, there is no expectation for venues to open outside of their normal operating hours or to supply warm refreshments. Grants of between £100 and £500 will be made to successful venues, with the amount given linked to the number of days per week the space is open.
Please get in touch and we can provide further information and answer any queries you may have.
People can find out more about Warm and Welcome Spaces, and more cost of living support, by visiting the Council’s website: www.swindon.gov.uk/costofliving
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