Cumbrians looking for a somewhere to warm up, have a hot drink and a chat will be able to choose from over 130 local venues this winter, following an incredible response from organisations across the county to the Warm Spots initiative.
Warm Spots is a joint project, led by Cumbria County Council, ACTion with Communities in Cumbria, Churches Together in Cumbria, Cumbria Community Foundation and Cumbria CVS. It encourages and supports local organisations to open their doors to people in need of warmth and help, as the cost-of-living crisis and high fuel costs continue to put many people under real strain.
There are now Warm Spot venues in all corners of the county, operating from village halls, community centres, churches, libraries, pubs, and sports centres, some open every day and some just a few hours a week. Everyone is welcome and you will not need to give any explanation of why you are there.
To help people find the Warm Spot nearest them a new website has been launched – www.cumbria.gov.uk/warmspots . The site provides an easy way to find out which Warm Spots are open and what they offer.
As a minimum, a Warm Spot will offer a warm space, a warm welcome, someone on hand to talk to if you wish, and a hot drink (free or at cost). But many are offering a much wider range of facilities, activities and support.
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said:
“It’s fantastic to see so many organisations stepping up to run a Warm Spot and I’m delighted we’re able to lend a helping hand to make sure the public knows about the support on offer.
“We know winter is always a difficult period, but we’ve never been in a position where we thought something like Warm Spots was necessary before now. The stark reality is there are many people who might benefit from this. People might choose to go and work in one of our Warm Spot libraries if their house is cold, or visit a local Warm Spot with your toddler simply because you’d like some company and a chat.
“I’d encourage people to take a look at the website and drop by their nearest Warm Spot to see what’s on offer.”
Paul Mogford from Kings Church Hub in Cockermouth, who are running several Warm Spots, said:
“We’ve been running informal cafes for several years, supporting various groups within our community. Warm Spots means that we can utilise things we already do to offer extended times to support many more people who are finding the cost of living beyond their income.
“We have groups for older people, one group for teenagers, and are opening a group for non-English speakers. We’re also offering Sunday lunches for those that need it too. People love being able to sit and chat for longer periods of time, and the sense of community is really vibrant and important
“Anyone is welcome from any group of our community – at no cost. Just pop along, bring your conversation, and enjoy some tea and cake!”
If any other organisations would like to set up a Warm Spot, advice and funding are available. Visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/warmspots for more information.
Notes for Editors
- A number of Warm Spot venues are willing to be interview or visited by the media. Please contact Kieran.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07500066520 for details.