Town Council Warm Rooms are Back for the Winter

Community Drop in at the Town Hall restarts October 17th

As the colder weather draws nearer and the community will once again be badly affected by high food prices and fuel poverty, Bridgwater Town Council has decided to re-run our popular ‘warm space’ from the Town Hall starting from Tuesday October 17th and going on through to the end of March 2024. Town Council Community Development officer Ann Marie Gould said “Last years warm space project was incredibly successful, and we enjoyed 20 weeks of opening the doors to the community and inviting organisations in to meet with the public. This year we will be following the same approach. There will be free hot and cold drinks, biscuits and snacks available, a provision to charge mobile phones, free Wi-Fi, a laptop which we can help visitors use, newspapers, puzzles, books etc. We will also be offering some free crafting sessions as they were really popular last year. Alongside this we like to signpost and support the visitors to the various charities and organisations which can help deal with not only fuel and food poverty but with the array of brilliant local support in many things including education, debt management, mental health and physical health, meaningful activities and food budgeting.”

Town Council organiser Ann Marie Gould

Ann Marie continued “The warm space is run by myself, town councillors and volunteers, along with the occasional help of other officers within the town council and we are very keen to work together with others to offer as much support and signposting as we can. “

How to get involved

Ann Marie suggested the following ways that people could get involved in the ‘warm space’.

  • Provide us with some leaflets and literature regarding services the community can use to seek help and support and to improve their lives – last year we had a large display of literature from many organisations which our visitors read and took away, we also find these leaflets to be a great conversation starter to delve a but deeper into the challenges people are facing.

    Plenty to do. Here we see Council Leader Smedley putting the final touches to his plans for world domination.
  • Come along to one of our drop ins to meet with members of the community to talk about the help and/or services you can provide – last year we were joined by village agents, Age UK Somerset, the financial well being project, young somerset etc. We can offer you a space, a free cuppa and an audience to engage with.
  • Hold one of your sessions at our warm space – if you meet regularly with members of the community or perhaps for group activities you would be more than welcome to join us – last year we made draught excluder sausage dogs from old curtains, held a cultural dish share event and taught people how to make pom poms from old bits of wool! These sessions are really popular with members of the community and provide a space to really chat and get to know people.
  • Display our poster in your public area to raise awareness of the free provisions we can offer over the winter. If you would be able to send any leaflets or literature to be displayed, you could either drop it into Town Hall reception or pop it into the post.
  • If you would be interested in coming along to one of our drop-ins, please do get in touch so we can organise a date, however, please also feel free to pop in and say hello  on any Tuesday from the 17th October.

 Social Hub

Community Portfolio Holder Cllr Liz Marsh (Victoria, Labour) added “It’s great news to be re-launching our Winter Warm Space as a continuation of our Summer Community Drop-in at Bridgwater Town Hall. “

“The Warm Space initiative was a great success last winter not only as a space whereby you can literally get in from the cold but also as a social hub with lots of speakers, groups, activities, information and an opportunity to make friends and have a natter over a cuppa. There’s also free use of a laptop and sockets for charging phones and so on.”

Community Portfolio Holder Liz Marsh

“The Town Cllrs are also regularly on hand along with the Town Council Community Development Officer, Ann-Marie to chat to, support, help and signpost which has really improved the feeling of making the Council much more accessible and available to our Community which is brilliant. It has without a doubt been a really positive thing to come from a time when money couldn’t be stretched tighter and general life couldn’t be more challenging. It will all be re-launching this Tuesday, October 17th from 10am – 2pm in the Charter Hall at Bridgwater Town Hall and it’s completely free and open to everyone. “