Houghton and Wyton Timebank have set up a welcoming Warm Space at St Mary's Centre, Houghton, bringing their community together in a a safe, warm and friendly environment
Local residents can visit to enjoy refreshments and social activity, obtain information and advice, and share the company of others. Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) is coordinating the network of spaces across Huntingdonshire and has created an online directory of venues. Organisations that register for the programme are able to apply for a Warm Space Community Chest Grant of up to £500 to help them create or improve Warm Spaces to enable them to make a positive difference for those living in the area.
On Tuesday 13 December, the Vice-Chair of the District Council, Cllr Steve McAdam, visited Houghton's Warm Space to spend time with residents and see how the community is being supported this winter.
Cllr Steve McAdam, said: "This is a great initiative. With such low temperatures in December, I am glad Warm Spaces like this one have been launched.
"It is not just about providing a warm space for residents, but a place where people can get help and information to improve their lives.
"You can clearly see the friendship and camaraderie here today and if residents need a Warm Space, they can go onto the HDC website, where there is a list of all the Warm Spaces in the area."
Houghton and Wyton Timebank Co-ordinator, Rose Williams, said: "This is a space in our community where people can come to keep warm.
"It is open to everyone in our community regardless of their need, and although most people are attending on their own, have found it a great place to meet others.
"We have lots of volunteers who volunteer because it's a useful space for them to keep warm too. Mothers and children are also attending, and we all share lunch together.
"We are really feeling it, it is so cold out there so hopefully we can continue to encourage people to come and connect with others and make connections that will make us all more resilient through the colder months."
Reverend Geoff Boucher, said: "It extends the sense of social engagement but also people coming out to a place of warmth, provides not only a physical warmth, but a warmth of the hospitality and the sharing of life, so it's a lovely thing to see.
"This is community at its best and it is happening very naturally."