Warm Hubs

How to set up a Warm Hub

Action in rural Sussex is concerned by the fuel crisis and the impact it is already having. Nationally it has been suggested that many Village halls and other community buildings would make suitable locations for Warm Banks and we have received many expressions of interest in how to go about this and how to fund such endeavours. This page is gathering together ideas and resources with national and local links to help any group that it planning or already delivering. Funding sources, how to set up and registering on the national map so that people can find your hub can all be accessed from this page. We will continue to add news and further updates.

Setting up a Warm Hub is going to cost money for extra fuel, food & drink, cleaning, activities etc. Here are some sources of funding to cover these costs.

Communities across East Sussex are being invited to apply to the Winter Support Fund for East Sussex which has been set up by East Sussex County Council and Sussex Community Foundation for support with the funding of warm hubs or other cost of living support. Click here for more details

Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils: Warm Spaces Grants – Adur & Worthing Councils (adur-worthing.gov.uk)
Arun District Council:  Arun Warm Spaces Small Grants Fund | Arun District Council
Chichester District Council: Chichester District Council grant programme: Chichester District Council
Horsham District Council: Council grants for community projects | Horsham District Council
Mid Sussex District Council: Corporate Grants – Mid Sussex District Council

CEO of West Sussex Association of Local Councils, Trevor Leggo, speaking at AirS’ Village Halls Conference in October, urged all parish councils to make funds available to support Village Halls and Community Buildings with the costs of running warm hubs this winter.

N.B. Some grant funders may require you to register your warm hub on the Warm Welcome website if you are applying for a grant: Register your warm hub

Set up and other information
Free guidelines ‘A warm welcome: Setting up a warm space in your community‘ has been published by CILIP, the library and information association. This is perhaps the most comprehensive guidance covering access, setup, hygiene, how to promote your warm space and many other topics. It is full of ideas and examples from around the country.

WorkNest’s Cost of Living Hub is available for practical advice and guidance on managing the impact of the current economic crisis.

Warm Spaces is an online directory of Warm Banks – spaces to find warmth, welcome and help.

Help for Households Campaign.

Warm Welcome have been providing resources on locating ‘Warm Hubs’- locations which can be used to get access to heat in a similar way to food banks providing for the members of our community struggling to feed themselves and their families. The Warm Welcome Campaign is the community response to the cost of living crisis. By registering, not only will the public be able to find you, you will also receive guidance and resources to help you set up your space.
Sussex residents can find a warm space and an even warmer welcome at their local public library. Visiting a library is free and Library teams can also provide lots of support and information on a wide range of topics and work closely with organisations like Citizens Advice. Many libraries have already registered as warm spaces.

• Warm and vibrant spaces to read, work relax and socialise
• National and local newspapers
• Magazines and books
• Free Wi-Fi
• Free to access public computers
• Quiet study spaces
• Printing and photocopying (available for a small charge)
• Boardgames and jigsaws
• A range of activities and events
• Welcoming library staff and volunteers – who will all be wearing an ID badge, so they are easy to spot
• Rooms for hire

Some MPs are listing Warm Spaces in their constituency on their own websites e.g. A Welcome to Warm Spaces in Mid Sussex | Mims Davies

Additional information and links
Cost of Living Crisis Resource Pack from VONNE (Voluntary Organisation’s Network North East)

The NHS Confederation is supporting people working in the healthcare profession with a section dedicated to “the risks to health, wellbeing and healthcare services, making the case that the cost-of-living crisis is a health crisis”. This page includes initiatives helping to mitigate the worst effects of rising costs, good employment practice to support staff, and their calls on government for action. This section is being regularly updated, exploring issues and initiatives on food insecurity, housing precarity, gambling and debt and domestic violence.

Support for community organisations
Charity Digital has created a helpful podcast episode on the current crisis. This offers advice to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations and explains the current situation in a simple, easy-to-follow way.

Support for individuals
The government has produced a Cost of living Stakeholder Toolkit which has recently been updated with additional content to include resources on energy scam awareness. The original toolkit is still useful, but this version includes printable posters in English and translated languages to alert individuals about the risk of energy scams. There has been a sharp increase in fraudulent activity relating to the government’s energy bills support, with scammers encouraging individuals to hand over bank details in order to benefit from schemes.

National Energy Action has produced a Home Energy Checklist

Octopus Energy are giving away 10,000 free electric blankets to the most needy and vulnerable homes as part of their Octo Assist customer support. Octopus Energy’s research shows the typical home could save £300 by using an electric blanket to keep warm rather than always heating the whole house. Click this link to apply for a heated blanket – or, if you can afford to, where you can buy one to keep warm this Winter.

“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”