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Three boroughs open up 37 warm spaces to combat the cold this winter

Nearly 40 libraries in three boroughs have designated warm spaces where free tea and coffee will be available to help combat the cost of living crisis this winter.

The boroughs of Bromley, Greenwich and Wandsworth have 37 warm spaces in libraries run by GLL, a not-for-profit charitable social enterprise that operates them on behalf of local authorities.

The initiative first launched last year in response to rocketing utility bills. It is supported by Age UK and Carers UK, with local collaborations taking place with community food banks, charities and Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

This winter it will again offer anyone living in the vicinity of a participating library a warm welcome, comfortable seating and the opportunity to use the libraries’ many free facilities.

In addition, leading wholesale food service company Brakes, has agreed to donate free tea, coffee and biscuits to all 37 locations.

The warm spaces will be accessible to library members and non-members alike. In addition to
offering a warm, comfortable and welcoming space to sit, visitors will also be able to access free
WiFi, books, magazines and newspapers.

They will be also able to use PC terminals and charge their own devices at no cost. Library staff are being trained to offer advice on relevant utility and cost of living grants.

All the participating libraries are also expanding their programmes of free onsite activities – ranging from reading and crafting groups, to board game sessions, yoga and activities for mums and babies.

Libraries in Wandsworth will also be offering drop-in sessions with Crew Energy, offering advice on cost-saving and making homes more energy-efficient.

GLL’s head of libraries, Rebecca Gediking, said: “We know that for the second year many people will struggle to be able heat their homes this winter and we want to help.

“Libraries are ideally suited to serve as Warm Spaces because they are at the heart of the community. They are welcoming environments, easily accessible, often being in town centre locations and already offer a wide range of free services and facilities.

“In addition to expanding our activity sessions, we have also invested in more comfortable seating and are hugely grateful to Brakes for their generous donation of tea, coffee and biscuits.”

you can your nearest warm space by clicking on the link: https://www.better.org.uk/healthy-communities/warm-spaces

(Picture: Better)

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