Sandwell opens 29 venues as ‘Warm Spaces’
Published 19th October 2022
A total of 29 venues in Sandwell will initially open their doors as Warm Spaces, including libraries and community centres to support residents.
From Wednesday 19 October, 19 libraries, three community centres and seven leisure centres (Sundays only) in Sandwell will provide a warm welcome – free, safe, and supportive spaces that anyone can visit during the colder months.
The Warm Spaces will also serve as a chance to have a chat with staff about the other support services available which include help and information ranging from benefits, energy support, help from local charities, managing bills as well as access to community support to combat isolation. Anyone from anywhere in Sandwell can access one of the 29 spaces. All participating buildings will provide the opportunity to be able to connect digitally, charge devices, and have a hot drink.
The cost of living crisis is impacting households across Sandwell, with rising energy, fuel and food prices affecting everyone. With many households having to cut back on essential items or dip into savings to meet rising living costs, the Council is working in partnership with community organisations to make sure everyone has the opportunity to access help when they need it. We want to support those most impacted, including those who have not faced financial challenge before.
The Council has also launched a small grant programme for voluntary and community sector organisations to keep their buildings open over the winter months as Warm Spaces.
The initial 29 locations listed include all 19 of Sandwell’s libraries, three community centres and seven leisure centres. Keep an eye on the webpage for the latest information.
Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, said: “Libraries and community centres have always provided a safe space and warm welcome to our communities. As we enter the winter months, we are taking practical steps to support people in their community who need it the most.
“These include Warm Spaces across all six towns in Sandwell as well other important initiatives that are aimed at both addressing immediate hardship and building longer-term financial resilience and wellbeing.
“We know how much people are already struggling with rising energy prices and this network of Warm Spaces is just a part of our response.
“We saw the response from our community throughout the pandemic, as local groups stepped up to support those in need of help and know that we can maximise our impact by working in partnership with our local voluntary and faith organisations. We have launched a small grant programme, to enable them to open up their buildings through the winter.”
If you are worried about the cost of living and rise in energy bills you can find useful information from the council and other local organisations.