Somerset ‘warm welcome’ spaces opened across County

Somerset County Council together with District colleagues are supporting the rollout of “Warm Welcome” spaces across the County. As temperatures fall this winter and energy bills skyrocket, these venues will provide places where people can find warmth, company, and support.

Over 70 spaces are now open to anyone who wants somewhere warm and welcoming to go, with many more planning to open their doors in the coming weeks.

The venues include Somerset County Council libraries, village halls, churches and café’s, and will provide a warm and friendly environment where people can socialise, stay warm and access information and support for their wellbeing.

The locations have all signed up to the ‘Warm Welcome Charter’ – a set of five core principles that every warm space adheres to:

  1. You’ll get a Warm Welcome as well as a warm space
  2. Everyone is treated equally, with dignity and respect
  3. Our Warm Welcome will be a safe space
  4. We will not tell anyone about you visiting a Warm Welcome
  5. It doesn’t matter why you need a Warm Welcome

Local charity, Spark Somerset, has been providing practical advice and guidance to those wishing to set up and run Warm Welcome spaces. CEO, Katherine Nolan, said:

“It has been amazing to see such a positive community response during these difficult times. Community groups and venues have rallied to open their doors to Somerset residents – and for many people these spaces will be a lifeline.”

Cllr Adam Dance, Lead Executive Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity said:

“We know that living in a cold home can have a number of negative impacts on people’s health and wellbeing. With temperatures beginning to fall, we want to let the public know that they can visit any of our warm welcome spaces to feel warm, welcome and get information on further support should they need it.”

“Additionally, these spaces are a great place to find company and enjoy a friendly chat with someone during the colder months.”

Some Warm Welcome spaces have received financial support from Somerset Community Foundation, thanks to generous donations to their Somerset Cost of Living Crisis Appeal. To find out more about the Warm Welcome spaces, and find a space near you, visit www.warmwelcomesomerset.org.uk.

To find out more about the support available throughout the Cost of Living crisis, please visit www.somerset.gov.uk/cost-of-living