Durham County Council launch ‘Welcome Spaces’ to support local residents

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Durham County Council are introducing ‘Welcome Spaces’ during the winter months, working alongside the County Durham Community Foundation in order to offer both funding and a network of locations where people can stay “warm, safe and well”.

Voluntary and community groups across Durham are being encouraged to become Welcome Spaces in return for financial support, with the local authorities’ Family Hubs and 39 libraries already part of the programme.

Durham County Council stated that “both us and the Foundation are contributing to the funding, with a combined pot of £280,000 available to support organisations which can apply for a grant of up to £3,000.”

The scheme hopes to combat issues that local residents are facing due to isolation, loneliness, the increased cost of energy, and the overall cost of living.

The scheme hopes to combat issues of isolation, loneliness, the increased cost of energy, and the overall cost of living

Chief Executive of the Foundation, Michelle Cooper, stated that “Last year we were able to fund 137 Warm Spaces, meaning over 16,500 people were able to access warm, inclusive and welcoming spaces during the winter months.

“I encourage all community groups supporting County Durham residents to visit our website, or talk to a member of the team, about how this grant can be accessed and used to make a difference in County Durham over the coming months.”

However, the scheme hopes to benefit residents in a variety of ways, not just with cost of living support but also other issues ranging from finance, housing, mental health and wellbeing to drugs and alcohol.

The ‘Welcome Spaces’ are free and are available for as long or short time as you wish. The complete list of spaces are available on Durham County Council’s website : https://www.durhamlocate.org.uk/Search?CategoryId=152&SM=ServiceSearch&UDG=True&SME=True

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