24th October 2022
Community groups and organisations across Cumbria are being offered financial support to help people keep warm over winter.
Working in partnership with Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Community Foundation is offering funding to the voluntary and community sector to help create a network of places where people can go to keep warm and have company.
The Warm Spot Fund is providing grants of up to £1,000 per venue to expand capacity or to start up in a new venue. For example, a community centre may apply to cover the costs of providing a designated space with chairs and hot drinks, open at regular times each week, or a parish hall may want to set up a coffee morning for the first time.
Funding can be used to cover energy bills, additional staff time, volunteer expenses, provision of drinks and venue hire, as well as other relevant costs.
Cumbria County Council suggests a Warm Spot should offer a warm, heated space, ‘a warm welcome’ with at least one member of staff or volunteer, a warm drink and be open for at least two hours each week.
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “As the cost of living crisis continues, we know a lot of people are going to find it increasingly hard to heat their homes this winter and we know that being cold is a genuinely serious risk to your health. This funding is for community organisations who are looking to offer somewhere warm that people can drop-in if they’re struggling, have a hot drink and a chat if they want one. They’ll also be able to talk to people about other places they could get support. A lot of local organisations are hoping to offer this kind of support, so our intention is that this funding helps them make that a reality.”
The Warm Spots Fund has already started to award grants to provide warm spaces up and down the county, including The Salvation Army in Barrow, Moot Hall in Brampton, Kendal Town Hall, Appleby Cricket Club and The Settlement in Maryport.
Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes & Partnerships at the Foundation, said: “Communities are in great need, and we are pleased that we can support this fund by adding match funding. Community groups are doing all they can to keep people safe, feeling ok and warm against the odds. It’s our job to make sure they have the money to do so.”
The council is keen to let people across Cumbria know about these warm spaces and are setting up a WARM SPOT interactive map, which will be available on its website shortly.
Applications to the Warm Spots Fund can be submitted at any time and groups should hear the outcome of their application within 10 working days.