Today marks a significant milestone in the community response campaign that has seen spaces dedicated to offering a place of warmth for their communities. Over 3,800 community spaces, churches, libraries, local authorities and businesses have registered with the Warm Welcome campaign to open their doors and provide a safe and welcoming environment for people struggling to heat their homes, despite themselves facing rising energy costs.
More than 2,000 warm spaces across the UK have already opened their doors to provide a safe and welcoming environment. A further 1,700 warm spaces are due to open in November, and more organisations are joining the campaign and pledging their support every day.
David Barclay, The Warm Welcome Campaign Manager says, “It’s unacceptable that people are facing the decision to heat their home or eat, but the response of civil society in opening thousands of Warm Welcome Spaces gives us cause for hope. At the start of October we had 350 open spaces, we now have 2,177 live on the map so that’s 1,827 new open spaces in the last three weeks. The response has shown just how strongly community organisations want to help the estimated seven million people who will be in fuel poverty this winter.”
As the campaign hits this latest milestone, registered spaces are themselves facing an average £2000 increase in costs, but despite the financial pressure are determined to provide warm spaces this winter. While the Church of England and numerous Local Authority and Community Foundation grant schemes are opening up, more support is needed for this civil response to continue. The Warm Welcome Fund has been launched to offer small grants to registered spaces facing rising energy costs.
“The Warm Welcome Campaign gives people hope and builds unity and friendship in communities. We recognise that many organisations will need additional support in order to offer their community a Warm Welcome, and we’ve been encouraging those with resources to make them available for this purpose. But more support is still needed to ensure organisations to continue to rally together and do more to help people who could so easily become isolated and struggle on their own.”
The national effort has been commended by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is also calling for organisations to receive more support.
The Right Honourable Gordon Brown says, “Eighty perfect of families are already saying they are slashing their Christmas spending, and more than 40% expecting their home to be cold through the festive season.
What does it say when we see innovation today is not to be found in The City or on the management floor, but within our charities as they desperately struggle to keep pace with demand which is going through the roof? But we cannot despair.”
Practical support will be given to those running warm spaces through a Warm Welcome Webinar series giving top tips and practical advice. The first webinars will include such topics as how to fundraise and resource your Warm Welcome space, how to create a welcoming space, and how to best support and signpost guests with mental health struggles.
For further information about the Warm Welcome Campaign, and Warm Welcome Fund, go to: https://warmwelcome.uk
For more information, interviews or comment please contact Esther Jolliffe at Jersey Road PR. e: [email protected] or t: 077726 10202,
For more information about the Warm Welcome Campaign please visit:
NOTES TO EDITOR
About Warm Welcome Campaign
The Warm Welcome Campaign is the community response to the cost-of-living crisis.
The project is determined to equip and support thousands of free, warm, and welcoming spaces in communities across the UK. Working with churches and other faith groups, civil society organisations, businesses and Local Authorities, they want to make sure that nobody is left to suffer on their own this winter.
About The ChurchWorks Commission
The ChurchWorks Commission, launched in October 2021 to explore the Church’s role in national Covid recovery. Bringing together all major Christian denominations and the government, ChurchWorks facilitate strategic conversations about the Church’s role in Covid recovery.
They are a network of 1,200 local churches and over 40 denominations and partners who have joined together to restore hope, renew community and now to help churches to tackle injustice in the wake of COVID. Knowing the local church is the hope of the nation, these conversations will unite the Church in showcasing its transformative work in communities.
For more information, please visit: yourneighbour.org/churchworks
Carl Beech, CEO of Edge Ministries, says, “There’s little doubt that we are heading towards a moment of crisis this winter in the face of energy and fuel inflation. People will be facing a stark choice between food and warmth. Creating warm and super welcoming spaces full of love, life and community is going to be an absolute necessity. We’re encouraging as many community groups as possible to get involved. It will make an incredible difference to people's lives.”
Securing local media coverage is an excellent way to raise your profile in your community, build trust and encourage people to take action. Here are five steps to help you get great local media coverage: