Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council launches new Warm Spaces Scheme and online Cost of Living Support Hub to help support local community groups and residents this autumn and winter.
The new Warm Spaces Scheme is designed to help local community groups deliver eligible programmes across a network of 18 council community centres, town halls and recreation centres – free of any charge. Offering a safe, secure, and warm environment, the just-launched network will enable community groups to save on costs such as heating, electric and room hire charges.
Open to local constituted community groups that are delivering programmes or projects aimed at supporting borough residents through the cost of living crisis, the new initiative will allow eligible organisations to make up to five bookings across the warm spaces network – subject to availability.
Speaking of the importance of the Warm Spaces initiative, Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Greenfield said: “The impact of the cost of living crisis is being felt by people right across the borough, and not least by local community and voluntary organisations. These groups were instrumental in helping their communities respond to and recover from the pandemic, yet they are now facing spiralling costs, falling income and an uncertain future, which is affecting their ability to support those most in need within their areas at this difficult time.
“We hope with the introduction of the new Warm Spaces Scheme, we can take some of this burden off our hard-working local community groups, enabling them to redirect vital funds and resources that would have been spent on running costs, back into the planning and organisation of their programmes to directly help those people in need.”
Providing more help for residents and community groups online, council’s Cost of Living Hub brings together a wealth of support information around matters relating to food, fuel, finances, and more. The hub features information on local food banks, details on where to get help with for managing finances and energy bills, as well as signposting to key support organisations, charities, and helpline, all aiming to help people access the right help for their current circumstances.
Highlighting the new online Cost of Living Hub to residents, the Lord Mayor commented: “It is hugely important that people are aware of the wide range of support services, organisations, programmes, and guidance materials that are out there specifically designed to help us all navigate the current cost of living pressures. And as we all feel the squeeze on our finances, I would encourage everyone to check out this new online resource centre and learn more about what assistance is available, so we can all tackle this together.”
For more information on the Warm Spaces Scheme, including eligibility and how to apply, please click here or contact .
To access the online Cost of Living Support Hub, please click here.