Warm spaces, financial help and more - measures to help people in Bromsgrove District through the cost-of-living crisis - The Bromsgrove Standard

Warm spaces, financial help and more - measures to help people in Bromsgrove District through the cost-of-living crisis

Tristan Harris 20th Oct, 2022 Updated: 23rd Oct, 2022   0

ORGANISATIONS across Bromsgrove district are joining forces and gearing up to help people get through a potentially hard winter due to rising heating bills and the cost-of-living crisis.

According to research, this Monday, October 24, is traditionally the day when most people put their heating on for the first time and agencies want to ensure residents know what help is available and where to get in.

‘Warm spaces’ where people can go to stave off the cold conditions, save money on their energy bills, have hot drinks and charge their phones and other devices are being set up.

Warm Spaces and meals in Bromsgrove district

There are plans to use Worcestershire libraries, including Bromsgrove, as warm hubs – the Standard is awaiting confirmation of details from the county council.




Rubery

In Rubery, a weekly warm space, which will be held every Tuesday, at Beacon Church Centre, from 10am to 3pm. There people will be able to keep warm, get coffee and have a cooked breakfast (for a small charge but children eat free). After that the church will remain open offering free hot drinks, toast and biscuits. The launch event is being held this Tuesday, October 25, in half-term.

Beacon Church Centre is hoping to expand its warm space offering after initially opening on Tuesdays.


From October 31 (after half-term), St Chad’s in Rubery is open from 12pm to 4pm on Wednesdays, offering free soup, toast and hot drinks between 12pm and 2pm. Bingo is then held (for a small charge) until 4pm, Those not wanting to play can enjoy the warmth, have hot drinks, do a jigsaw and read a book.

St Chad’s is also open on Fridays from 10am to 2pm, offering a warm space with free soup, toast and hot drinks. The Place of Welcome is staffed by volunteers. Between 10.atam and 11.45am, the Birmingham Centre for Art Therapies runs a free creative wellbeing session for anyone who wants to participate.

And Rubery Library is open as a ‘warm hub’ during its opening hours – 9.30am to 5pm Monday, Tuesday and Friday, between 9.30am and 6pm on Thursday and from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

Catshill

Catshill will have warm spaces available every day of the week – On Mondays, Catshill Library is open between 9.15pm and 12.15pm and on Tuesdays, the Welcome Hall is open between 10.30am and 11.30am, Christ Church from 2pm to 3.30pm and Catshill Library from 3pm to 7pm.

On Wednesday, Cozy Cuppa at The Meadows is open between 10am and 2.30pm (from November 2) and on Thursday, Time Out @ The Baptist Church runs from 2pm, Rendez Vous at the Methodist Church from 10am to 12pm and Catshill Library from 3pm to 5.30pm.

On Friday, Catshill Methodist Church is open between 10am and 12pm and Catshill Library from 9am to 12.30pm.

On Saturday, Catshill Library’s warm space runs from 9am to 12.30pm, the Methodist Church between 10am and 12pm and the Baptist Church from 10am to 12pm (first Saturday of the month).

On Sunday, all churches are open in the morning and the Little Bengal takeaway offers meals for families and the elderly between 5pm and 7pm – people can contact the restaurant via the Facebook page or by calling 07506 677506.

St Godwald’s Church in Aston Fields will hold its ‘community spirit’ warm space sessions from 10am to 12.30pm on alternate Fridays, starting next Friday (October 28). The Warm Welcome Cafe – offering soup and a roll or tea and coffee – will be open between 12pm to 3pm on alternate Wednesdays, starting on November 2.

Bromsgrove

Weekly community meals are available at Bromsgrove Baptist Church at 7.30pm every Thursday during term time. There is no need to book, people can just turn up, but if it’s a larger group, it would be helpful to let them know in advance. Further information can be found on the attached leaflet.

And Bromsgrove Baptist Church is running ‘The Coffee Pot’ on the third Thursday in the month from 10.30am to 12pm, serving tea, coffee, cakes, and light refreshments which might be suitable for people who do not or cannot go out in the evening.

Local libraries across Worcestershire are continuing to offer warm, welcoming spaces during opening hours. People can also access free services, find information and support, take part in events and activities and connect with other people. Local libraries are in the process of registering with the ‘Warm Welcome Network’.

 

Help finding Warm Spaces

The Warm Welcome Network was set up to support and champion the community response to the cost-of-living crisis.

It can be found here and details free, warm, welcoming spaces for the public over this winter.

Those providing warm spaces can also register and provide details what they offer so users can search for local warm spaces in their area.

 

Thinking of setting up a Warm Space?

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, has created ‘A Warm Welcome, setting up a warm space in your community’ to offer a comprehensive guide and a wealth of information on what people considering setting up a warm space in the community need to know. Click here to view it.

 

Council teaming up with other agencies

Bromsgrove District Council has teamed up with other agencies, including BARN, BDHT, Act On Energy, Age UK, the county’s libraries and Citizen’s Advice to highlight the help available.

The council is also promoting its own support from pension credits to council tax and a fuel poverty task force, chaired by Coun Rob Hunter, has seen councillors also join BDHT, Act On Energy and Churches Together in Bromsgrove.

Coun Hunter said: “Councillors from all parties and independents have put their political differences aside to put together a plan to help people this winter.”

Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Karen May, said: “I am sure every one of us recognises the many severe difficulties caused by the current cost of living challenges, particularly those in our community who may be affected the most.

“This administration stands with the people of Bromsgrove and will do its utmost to support them through these very difficult times.”

A motion at Monday’s Bromsgrove Council meeting submitted by Coun Harrison Rone-Clarke, who worked on it with Coun May, calling on the authority to lobby the Government for more help for residents via the Revenue Support Grant – the funding allocated to each council – was backed unanimously.

It also included calls for Parkside to be used as a warm hub but the plans for Bromsgrove Library already afoot are likely to ensure there will be a warm space in the area.

 

Where to get the help from various agencies?

Bromsgrove District Council has also put together its ‘Let’s Work Together’ cost-of-living leaflet detailing where help is available from a number of agencies, including BARN, BDHT, Act On Energy, Age UK,  – click here for a PDF of the document.

The Standard is backing the cost-of-living help campaign, highlighting assistance through reports and a series of 60-second online videos to help get important messages and money-saving tips across.

Are there any warm hubs in Bromsgrove district or south-west Birmingham we have missed off our list? Email us the details to [email protected]

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