The price of energy rose again on 1st October and Burnham and Highbridge Town Council are keen to work with the community to develop a network of public warm rooms across the area to help people keep warm this winter.
Public warm rooms are safe, welcoming and non-judgemental spaces for people to come together to stay warm and perhaps enjoy a hot drink and a biscuit. These venues will also have information to help people who might be keen to learn more about the support available to tackle the cost of living crisis.
Somerset Community Foundation has set up a fund to offer grants of up to £1,000 to voluntary organisations to help them stay open longer and offer warm spaces across Somerset. Details and application forms can be found at https://www.somersetcf.org.uk/warm-somerset-spaces. Applications for grants must be submitted by 31st October, and we urge any groups that can help to utilise this fund and offer up space over longer hours.
The sorts of venues that might be suitable for hosting public warm rooms include community buildings, sports venues, places of worship, libraries and any organisation willing to make a space available for people to use.
In addition, we would love to publicise existing events, activities and clubs where people can go to participate in social activities and make new friends. This would enable groups to offer a warm space without adding additional cost to open a building beyond current hours.
Our goal is to create a directory of all the places available to our residents across the public, private, health and voluntary sectors and to ensure this information is clearly promoted so everyone who is feeling the cold knows where they can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company and some hot refreshments.
To enable this we are inviting any groups or organisations that can offer a space to send details to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online registration form : https://burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk/forms/warm-spaces-directory-registration-form-2022 by Friday 28th October so we can make a start, although we will always welcome additions to the directory later
The details should include the location, the times that a space is available, any related activity that attendees would be participating in, venue accessibility, any costs, if hot refreshments are available and details of your organisation including contact details.
Venues that are in the directory will be offered a window card to advertise their support for this initiative.
Councillor Gudka, Chairman of the Finance and Resources Committee said “Although unit prices have been capped, they are still higher than last year, so it is clear that in order to save money this winter, we need to help everyone reduce the amount of energy they use to heat and power their homes. Sharing warmth and friendship in community spaces is an ideal way for us to work together to bring something positive out of this crisis, and I hope we can all contribute to this effort in some way.”
We hope to bring the whole community together to share warmth, reduce energy usage and beat this crisis which is not of our making – Burnham and Highbridge at its best.