Warm Spaces are places where people can gather for free in a warm, safe, welcoming place and enjoy a hot drink and some company and maybe participate in activities and access advice and other services.
These spaces could be in libraries, community centres, church halls, sports clubs and other places. This could involve activities you are currently running, being open on days which you aren’t usually, being open for longer or widening your offer.
Many community groups are considering having a 'Warm Space' in their community venue and so we've pulled together some useful guidance to help you get started. We've also listed some funding opportunities where your organisation can apply for financial support with increased electricity costs or the cost of refreshments or activities.
Please contact one of the Community Development Team if you would like any guidance or assistance.
The Warm Welcome Campaign
The Warm Welcome Campaign https://www.warmwelcome.uk/ was started by the ChurchWorks Commission working with a number of other key partners and they have produced a useful Warm Welcome Step by Step Guide which can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3rU0fjr. Access to a full toolkit is available when you register your Warm Space.
A Warm Welcome; Setting up a Warm Space in Your Community
A Warm Welcome; Setting up a Warm Space in Your Community is a guide for organisations wanting to set up a warm space, produced by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and commissioned by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert. The guide contains really useful information about everything you need to consider as well as lots of useful resources including a sample risk assessment. You can access the guide at https://bit.ly/3VuAJ1N
Public Living Rooms
Public Living Rooms is an initiative of The Camerados Movement. They are warm welcoming places with people who listen, who treat everyone the same, who don't judge or try to fix each other. Each public living room is different and can have sofas and cuppas, maybe some tunes, maybe some board games. They are not manned by staff, they are set up and organised by camerados for their communities and are open to all. Some are pop ups for short periods, some are at regular times each week and others are open daily And all of them use the six simple camerado ideas to underpin how they run. You can find out more at https://camerados.org/set-up-a-public-living-room/
There are a number of grants currently open or due to open where your organisation might be able to access some funding towards the cost of Warm Space activities.
Council's Social Connections Grant **opens for applications 11th January 2023**
The Social Connections Grant Programme will provide small grants to community and voluntary organisations to address loneliness and isolation and build social connections by creating more opportunities to bring people together to make connections doing something they enjozy and to help reduce the social isolation that can be a result of living in poverty and in particular the current cost of living pressures. Example projects might be delivering programmes with a warm and friendly welcome, such as an arts and craft programme or nutrition and cooking programme.
Micro Community Investment Fund
Grants of up to £2,000 to support both new and existing activities and projects that enhance the financial, physical and/or mental well being of people in communities with a particular focus on addressing the challenges people are facing around the rising cost of living.
The Asda Foundation is providing funding worth £500,000 to support community groups that are struggling with rising operating costs or increased demand for their vital services in the current climate. Individual grants worth up to a maximum of £2,000 are available and priority will be given to groups and charities that need financial help to cover increased energy costs or who want to use their facilities to create ‘warm banks’ – spaces where people can keep warm this winter if they can’t afford to always heat their homes. They're also running a ‘Community Cuppa’ campaign in their cafes by creating space for community groups who may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs. Spaces will be available on weekdays in November and December from 2pm to 6pm and all community group members who visit will receive unlimited free tea or coffee.
National Lottery Awards for All
You can apply for funding from £300 to £10,000 to deliver new or existing activity or to support your organisation to change and adapt to new and future challenges including the cost-of-living crisis. Organisations can now apply for two Awards for All grants within a 12-month period, if at least one idea focus’ on a response to the cost-of-living crisis.
Small Grants Programme – Older People
This is a rolling programme with grant of up to £7,000 available to fund preventative and early intervention programmes being delivered at the community level which allow older people to stay in their own homes and remain independent and programmes aiming to alleviate isolation and depression in older people, including informal day care or social, physical and recreational activities.