Buildings for Mission Adviser, Sheena Wilson, looks at Warm Hubs and offers some advice on whether this is something you and your church could be offering this winter. There are plenty of resources to help you explore this topic at a time of need for many in our communities.
Should our Church be offering a Warm Hub?
27 October 2022
By Sheena Wilson, Buildings for Mission Adviser
T: 01928 718834 Ext 236
M: 07729 072228
"Perhaps we should start with explaining what a Warm Hub is. A Warm Hub is a safe, welcoming, and warm space to invite the local community into. A safe and welcoming place for all but especially for those struggling with heating and food bills. A place to visit to keep warm, to find new friends and get support. They can be as simple as providing a cup of tea and biscuit and a couple of sociable hours. They can be as complex as offering a free hot meal, access to food banks and pantries, debt advise and help with mental health.
"So, should our Church take part? Churches can be the most expensive places to keep warm and creating a Warm Hub needs to be affordable for those that create it. If your church currently has midweek services and lunch clubs and is already open to the community for a few hours, then it might be possible to extend the open hours and then offer soup or a toasty at lunchtime. If you already are open one day a week for a hot lunch, can you afford to open for an additional day? Finding enough volunteers can be a struggle but advertising the Hub within the local community is key. Those using the facilities might also be able to help to run it. There is also an opportunity to work with other churches and community centres in the area to try and provide a warm space in the area on different days.
"There is help and advice available from local authorities and charities and here are a few links included for information. There has never been a more important time to show are faith in action than by supporting our struggling communities at this challenging time."
Further reading and resources
Transforming Lives Together have a dedicated section on their website for responding to the cost-of-living crisis.
Cheshire East have published information on their website Cheshire-East-cost-of-living.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to supporting residents through the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. They will be publishing a list of Hubs. Cheshire West & Chester Hub Information.
Halton Borough Council have published their “Reach out” magazine with some helpful advice for the cost of living crisis Reach-out-magazine.
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council have published information on their website Stockport-cost-of-living-hub.
Warrington Borough Council have published information on their website Warrington-cost-living-support.
Wirral Council are offering funding as per the attached link Wirral-cost-living-cvf-grant-fund.
ACTS435 can help with financial support for those in need in the community.
fuelbankfoundation provide people in fuel poverty with financial support and practical advice, and partner with a range of community organisations across the UK.
thehygienebank collect, sort, and distribute free hygiene products to their network of community partners.