Welcoming spaces open this winter as residents are urged to stay connectedWinter wellbeing
22 November 2023
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are pleased to be working with a wide range of partners including our community and voluntary organisations to support over 88 welcoming spaces for our residents this winter period.
Following the success of our warm spaces initiative last year, which saw over 64,000 visits to 47 grant funded spaces, together with partners, WNC are relaunching the initiative ahead of this winter to provide friendly and safe places for residents across West Northants.
Rebranding the initiative as welcoming spaces emphasises the importance of social connectedness and encourages residents to utilise these spaces to meet and socialise with new people, find out about what support is on offer as well as access a friendly, warm space in their local neighbourhood.
Working with many community partners helps to make welcoming spaces local to all residents across West Northants, as part of the Council’s aim to tackle social isolation and prevent loneliness in communities. Alongside providing a place for people to meet and socialise, some welcoming spaces will have information about support services available to residents providing information on topics such as the financial support available or signposting to mental health services, with others offering gardening groups, knitting together or simply a place for a hot drink and a chat.
The centres are open to everyone and include libraries, community centres, community hubs and other places offering a warm welcome and free to use for anyone struggling to heat their home. Some venues will also offer hot drinks, activities, and other services such as free Wi-Fi.
We know from last year’s usage that these spaces are very much needed for residents – whether it’s to get out the house, have someone to talk to, stay warm or access some of the social activities on offer.Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at WNC
We know that the winter months can be a challenging time for many – whether it’s due to financial worries, struggling with household bills, or feeling lonely – that's why we’re keen to be supporting a similar initiative this year.
I really encourage residents to go along to their local welcoming space and join in with this initiative as it continues to build on the impact of last year.
The Council has created a map of venues across the Daventry, Northampton, South Northamptonshire areas as well as a number of others further afield in the county that are providing free spaces that you can go to during the colder months.
To learn more and find your nearest Welcoming Space, please visit the Welcoming Spaces webpage on the Cost of Living Hub.