Thursday 13 June 2024
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Warm spaces to open all year in Gedling

Welcoming warm spaces designed to help people struggling with energy bills and other costs are to open all year round in Gedling.

Gedling Borough Council created a local directory listing agencies, groups and charities offering support across the borough amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The directory included the Warm Spaces programme, which was set up to create free places in the community where people could meet, stay warm and in some cases have hot drinks.

The authority says 32 partners and venues signed up to offer services across the borough, including some of its own, including the Richard Herrod Centre and Bonington Theatre.

Several other community groups also offered spaces such as Men in Sheds in Carlton, Netherfield Forum and the Salvation Army.

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They will now open under the new name of ‘welcome and warm spaces’ to reflect their use all year round, according to council documents released ahead of a council Scrutiny Committee meeting on September 4.

“The initiative was deemed to be a success, with many residents benefiting
from it at various hubs across the whole borough,” the Labour-led Gedling Borough Council says, although no exact usage figures were provided.

“Following on from last year, the council are moving towards promoting
‘Welcome and warm spaces’ for all year-round use; a slightly different
name and offering than the year before.

“It is important that people know they can go to these places all year round and as such the names and details of these places will go into the Gedling support booklet again this year.”

At the council’s Richard Herrod Centre in Foxhill Road, daily newspapers, Wi-Fi and TVs are available alongside tea and coffee for a fee.

The Netherfield Forum at St George’s Centre, in Victoria Road, offers Wi-Fi and a range of social activities.

Daybrook Baptist Church also offers its ‘Kettles on!’ service where people are able to take part in knitting and sewing events as well as other games.

Wi-Fi is available as well as assistance to complete forms.

Numerous other venues offer similar services, including St Mary’s Church and Family Centre and Redhill Young People’s Centre, and some charge small fees ranging between 50p and £3.

The plans for a continuation of support come as the annual energy bill for a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity is expected to fall to £1,923 from October under the energy regulator Ofgem’s new price cap.

However, the average annual energy bill is still significantly higher than in the winter of 2021, when the average household paid around £1,277.

Some Government support has also now ended, including a £400 payment given out to all homes last year.

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