With icy weather forecast this week you can shelter from the cold in a Wandsworth Warm Space

Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

With an Arctic blast forecast this week, residents are being offered warm spaces away from the cold.

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Libraries, children’s centres, community centres and spaces managed by the borough’s voluntary sector, are throwing open their doors to offer residents a warm place to stay.

To find your nearest warm space please visit the Warm Spaces webpage or call 0808 175 3339.

Some offer hot drinks, snacks, meals and a place to shower and wash, while in others a range of events, activities and entertainment is being provided.

Council Leader Simon Hogg said: “With a very cold spell of weather forecast for the rest of this week, our warm spaces are offering families somewhere to get out of the cold.

“We know that many of our residents are facing real hardship this winter because of the cost-of-living crisis. We know that many are having to make really difficult choices about eating properly or keeping warm, which is why we’ve created our network of Wandsworth Warm Spaces to provide shelter to those in need.

“We are determined to do all we can to make a difference, by offering a compassionate helping hand and supporting our residents through these difficult winter months."

Visit the Cost of Living hub to find out about support for residents.

Feedback already received from residents includes:

  • ‘It’s making a big difference already’
  • ‘Thank you, such a kind thing to do’
  • ‘Thank you so much, we usually go to the park but it’s so cold now’ 
  • ‘Really good that warm lunches are available too. It’s really helping, and I don’t have to worry about cooking” 
  • 'This place is a lifeline' 
  • 'The food is more filling than expected'

People are welcome at any of the borough’s 11 libraries to keep warm and enjoy free internet access and a range of other events such as children’s activities and coffee mornings - while five branches will be offering extended opening hours and activities like film clubs in parts of the borough where families are struggling the most.

Enhanced services are also being offered at six children’s centres which provide family-oriented services for young families of children up to the age of five. These include breakfast clubs, lunch and learn sessions, stay and play along with the chance for parents to charge phones, and where available, use shower and washing facilities. Later in the day older children can complete their homework in warm and friendly surroundings, with internet access provided and evening meals also available.

And at the Rose Community Clubroom in Battersea, an existing programme of arts and wellbeing activities on Mondays has been expanded to offer a hot meal and healthy snacks and free childcare support for up to eight children, each for two hours to run alongside its existing homework club, film screenings, and evening classes.

The council has invested £5m this winter in Cost of Living support for residents – the largest programme of its kind in London.

Key to this is the launch of an online Cost of Living Hub providing information on grants to help with fuel bills, advice on reducing bills, information on benefits and what to do in a crisis, help available for families, where to get mental health support and links to community organisations and charities that can help.

And to support residents in keeping warm in their own homes, funding has been awarded for the South West London Energy Advice Partnership which can offer energy efficiency advice, support and outreach. This funding will enable 300 extra home visits including minor energy efficiency improvements. 

The council’s Winter Warmth Home Service provided by Thinking Works can also provide energy saving advice through a home visit or telephone session.