The UK has faced its toughest financial year in many years. The cost-of-living crisis has meant that many households will struggle with the cost of heating their homes this winter. Once the clocks go back this weekend, the evenings get dark and the cold winter months draw in, thousands of Warm Welcome Spaces will open their doors to the local community around the UK.
With more than 14.4 million people living in poverty in the UK, and a further 7 million experiencing chronic loneliness, the Crisis Response Grant from Benefact Trust will help to fund further local spaces where vulnerable people can come together to thrive.
There are currently more than 50 charities leading the partnership that is the Warm Welcome campaign, created in response to the worst cost-of-living crisis the UK has faced in more than 70 years. Poverty and isolation are rife throughout the UK and it’s estimated that disconnected communities could cost the UK economy £32 billion every year*.
These are the hard-hitting stats of the cost-of-living crisis:
• 5.5 million low-income households have had to cut down on food or skip meals because they can’t afford it. Of those, 4 million reported going hungry and a further 2.7 million reported having a poor diet because of the cost-of-living crisis
• 9 in 10 low-income families on Universal Credit are going without essentials. 4.5 million are in arrears and a further 2.6 million hold high-cost credit loans
• More than 7 million people in the UK experience chronic loneliness
Helen Gray, Benefact Trust Director, said: “The rising cost-of-living has meant that far too many vulnerable people are struggling to eat, stay warm and have meaningful interactions with those around them. It’s tough enough throughout the summer months when the UK is slightly warmer, but as the colder days and darker nights approach, the problem is only going to escalate. People shouldn’t have to choose between eating or heating their home – neither should be something anyone has to worry about. We know that our latest grant of £125,000 for Warm Welcome will help provide much needed warm spaces throughout the community for people to attend – regardless of their situation.”
David Barclay, Warm Welcome Campaign Director, also commented: “We are blown away by the continued generosity of Benefact Trust. Their support for Warm Welcome right from the start of the campaign has already achieved far-reaching social impact.
“By working with Benefact Trust, our partners and the network of over 7,000 Warm Welcome Spaces, we believe that we can achieve something genuinely transformational in this country. We have a bold ambition to double our efforts this year, so everyone can access a warm and friendly space in their community, and no one has to face winter alone.
“Together we can build on the breath-taking show of bottom-up community resilience and creativity seen last winter and help channel this towards building a fairer and friendlier society, replacing poverty and isolation with warmth and local connection through the power of community spaces made by and for the community.”
Those wanting to find out more about Warm Welcome Spaces should visit: www.warmwelcome.uk