Village halls have a long history of providing refuge in times of emergency, and warm hubs are no different. So what should you do if you want to support your local community by setting up this kind of service?
Support is available
A national initiative called Warm Welcome provides a map of venues that can offer support to local communities in times of need. If your village hall is interested in getting involved, you can include your venue on the map.
You can find a helpful guide from Warm Welcome about some things you might like to consider when setting up a warm hub here.
What to think about
Some things to keep in mind when setting up a warm hub include providing enough space for people to gather, having plenty of seating, stocking up on food and drinks and having access to heating.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! There are plenty of resources available to help you get started. The CILIP website has a helpful guide on both setting up and running a Warm Hub, funded by a donation from Martin Lewis.
Getting Funding for Your Warm Hub
Reaching out to your local authority or other potential funders is a great way to get started with funding your warm hub. A little research may help you find the right resources for your community! There are a few different ways that you can go about getting funding for your warm hub.
The first step is to contact to your local authority. Cheshire West and Cheshire East both have programs that offer grants to support the creation of warm hubs. If you’re not eligible for funding from your local authority, or you’d like to find other sources of funding, there are also a few private organisations that offer grants for this purpose, such as the National Lottery Community Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. Asda offers funding via its Cost of Living Grant, which can help pay for funding for winter/warm space activities – apply quickly as this fund is budget capped – while it runs till February it will close as soon as funds are exhausted.
Cheshire West venues can apply for a Warm, Welcoming Spaces grant from the local council via Cheshire Community Action here. The Welcome Network project has a map of specific food groups/provision. If you’re providing an affordable or free meal as part of your offer and would like to be included on the Cheshire West Welcome Network map, please email the details to email@example.com.
You can apply for funding to become a warm space in Cheshire East here.