Wiltshire Council warm spaces supporting people as winter weather hits
Our libraries our warm spaces for anyone who needs them
With the cold weather sweeping across Wiltshire in recent days, Wiltshire Council's libraries continue to be available as warm spaces for people throughout the county, providing a warm and friendly welcome to support anyone who needs help through the cost of living crisis.
Working with Warm and Safe Wiltshire and The Rural Communities Energy Support Network, the council's friendly library staff are assisting residents seeking basic energy advice and making referrals to experienced energy advisors in all but its smallest libraries. All libraries are able to signpost people to community partners and agencies that can support people through the rising cost of living. Libraries are also collection points for Warm Packs, which include a hot water bottle and blanket, for those who would benefit from some free essentials. These packs have been well received and the council is working with partner agencies to ensure they are provided to those in need.
There is no criteria for anyone who might need to use the library as a warm space, and staff will be friendly and welcoming so that people feel as comfortable as possible. There are also opportunities to spend more time in the library to take part in board games, colouring, jigsaws and tea and chat where these are part of a local library programme.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said:
"We were anticipating cold weather, so now more than ever there will be some people looking to keep warm in a safe environment without the extra worry of how much the heating will cost.
"Our libraries have always been more than just somewhere to get books so we're pleased to continue to provide this service to the community for as long as is needed. According to our interactive community directory, there are more than 100 warm spaces throughout Wiltshire and it's reassuring that so many people, groups and organisations have stepped up once again at a time of need."
The council has a range of support and advice on its dedicated cost of living webpages. It contains information on council tax and benefits, energy advice, housing information, mental health support, local practical help, and support available for businesses. The council's interactive community directory can also be found there, which contains details of other warm spaces in the county as well as community food providers. It can all be found at Supporting you through the rising cost of living.
The council is always looking for volunteers to support library services, so if anyone has time to spare and wants to join a friendly team this winter they should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Libraries.