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today18 September 2023 3

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There are just a few days left for community groups and organisations to apply for funding to become a ‘Warm Welcome’ venue in east Suffolk this winter.

Grants have been made available by the District Council – who are looking for more venues that can offer local people a warm safe space to socialise during the colder months ahead.

The second round of East Suffolk Council’s Warm Welcomes (formerly Warm Rooms) grant applications is now open, following a successful programme last winter. 

Last year, Warm Rooms operated over the winter months to provide warm, friendly spacesacross East Suffolk. This winter, the rooms have been rebranded as Warm Welcomes following feedback from those visiting Warm Rooms and the host venues.  

Warm Welcomes provide a safe, warm and welcoming space where members of the community, including people who may be struggling with the cost of heating their homes, can come to meet with others and access information about additional support available in the community. 

Cllr Katie Graham, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism said: “Energy and food prices remain high and reducing household costs is a priority for many of our residents, especially as we move towards the autumn and winter months. Warm Welcomes are invaluable community spaces where people can come to keep warm, meet other people, take part in activities and find out more about other types of support available locally and we would encourage groups and organisations to apply for funding to join the Warm Welcomes scheme.” 

Grant funding is available for venues wishing to host a Warm Welcome in their community over the winter. Each venue is asked to provide a minimum of 8 hours per week however this can be provided in different ways throughout the week. The funding can be used as a contribution towards energy costs, refreshments, food,activities and the purchase or hire of resources such as craft materials. 

Applications close on Friday 22 September and all applications will be considered by a panel. All Warm Welcomes must be ready to open from 30 October and remain available until 1 April 2024. Once confirmed, a list of all the Warm Welcomes will be made available online.

Full eligibility criteria and apply.  

For any queries about the grant scheme, please email communities@eastsuffolk.gov.uk 

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