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We're supporting residents this winter

Published: 8 November 2023

Voluntary, community and charity organisations are being encouraged to apply for one of our grants to open a warm and welcoming space this winter.

It follows the success of a scheme we launched last year which helped to fund more than 150 spaces supporting Derbyshire residents during the colder months.

Between them, they provided 17,000 hours of warmth and company for almost 11,000 Derbyshire residents feeling lonely or struggling to heat their homes or feed themselves.

Organisations can now apply for up to £1,000 towards the cost of opening up new community venues or to extend their opening hours as the weather gets colder.

The money can be used towards things like providing meals or light refreshments, the cost of energy bills or paying running costs to stay open for longer.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart, said:

"We know that as the nights draw in and the weather turns colder it can be a challenge for people who are on their own, particularly with feelings of isolation.

“And with costs of things like energy and food still very high and affecting us all, it can also be a struggle to make ends meet for some people.

“Last year, county council-funded warm spaces provided a refuge for almost 11,000 people – with around half of those visiting a warm space more than once as they enjoyed the companionship it offered.

“Of course, we couldn’t have done this without Derbyshire’s amazing network of charities, community and voluntary organisations and I’d like to thank them for their work to support Derbyshire residents.

“And I’d also like to encourage them to apply for a grant again this year so they can do even more - by extending their opening hours for example – and I’d like to appeal to other groups to think about setting up a Warm and Welcoming Space in their community.”

The £150,000 warm and welcoming space grant fund has come from Government money given to all local authorities to support communities during and after the COVID pandemic.

To qualify for a grant, organisations must pledge to offer a heated space during the winter months, providing a friendly welcome with seating, perhaps offer a meal or refreshments such as a warm drink and a biscuit and be free of charge.

People visiting warm and welcoming Spaces will also be offered information to help them with cost of living support, as well as advice on looking after their mental health and well-being and information about community groups to tackle social isolation.

Find out more information about warm and welcoming spaces and how to apply for a grant.

Meanwhile all of our libraries are warm and welcoming spaces and people are welcome to visit during the library’s published opening hours to get warm, read a book or use the free wi-fi.

Information and support for Derbyshire residents who are struggling with the cost of living.