The Warm Welcome Campaign was set up in August 2022, by a network of churches, charities and civil society organisations in response to the soar in energy prices which left millions dreading the winter ahead, leaving many fearing they will have to make the choice between food and warmth. It is estimated that 7 million households will still be in fuel poverty this winter, with people with disabilities, elderly people, children, people from ethnic minorities, and low-income households amongst the most affected groups. With an estimated £800 gap between the overall cost-of-living and package for families on means-tested benefits, many will have to look to their local community and churches for support.
Our mission is to support organisations to open their doors and provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter through:
- Producing a network of thousands of Warm Welcome spaces, enabling the most vulnerable to find thepersonal care and practical support that they need to survive the winter
- Providing strategic information and resources, inspiring local centres to offer a Warm Welcome within their own communities, sharing great ideas and encouraging good practice across the network ;
- Promoting Warm Welcome centres through a national publicity campaign, helping individuals to find a centre near them and ensuring that the network is represented in national dialogue and debate
The Campaign is open to churches, community organisations, other faith groups and businesses who are already preparing to open their doors to the most vulnerable during this difficult time, as well as those who hope to do so for the first time. Some spaces may simply be able to offer a place to go where guests can enjoy a warm space, practical support and pastoral care from staff and volunteers. Others will offer a range of programmes, facilities and activities to meet all manner of local needs. The only requirement to become a Warm Welcome Space is that the space is free, warm, welcoming, and safe.
We know this is going to be a tough winter for many, with our youngest children most at risk. Having places for families to go that are local, warm and welcoming will make a big difference. The Warm Welcome initiative is a simple and effective way of connecting people and places so no one needs to struggle alone.
At Libraries Connected we know that public libraries are determined to help people during the difficult months ahead. We’re proud to be a partner of the Warm Welcome Network, which is playing such a vital role by bringing together all the community organisations that have stepped up to offer a warm space and friendly face this winter.
As a charity focusing on addressing loneliness and social isolation across the UK, we are acutely aware of the prospect of a combination of factors affecting the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of many people this winter. Concern about bills, heating and food are already leading to increased levels of anxiety and this – in turn – leads to increased feelings of loneliness. This is why we are partnering with Warm Welcome to provide training for volunteers in their key roles and to promote this crucial initiative.
8th June 2022
In our Commission Meeting on the 8th of June, our Commissioners identified the cost-of-living crisis as one of the key areas we should be focusing on in the winter ahead.
8th August 2022
Our first Design Workshop was held in early August with representatives from churches and community organisations across the UK to decide what a united response to the cost-of-living crisis would look like.
26th August 2022
On the 26th of August, we launched the “Warm Welcome Pledge”, allowing organisations to pledge to open their space for those in need this winter. Over 1,000 pledges were received in under three weeks.
Building on this momentum, we then held an online launch event on the 28th of September open to all members of the public, and especially organisations thinking of joining the Campaign, where attendees got the chance to hear from people across the country who are planning their own Warm Welcome space, as well as national supporters of the campaign. This event also marked the launch of the registration phase of our campaign, where we asked both organisations who have already pledged, and those who haven’t but want to, to join the Campaign, to register their organisation as a Warm Welcome space on our website
Announced as Daily Mirror Christmas Campaign
In October, the Warm Welcome Campaign was chosen as the Daily Mirror’s Christmas Campaign!
9th November 2022
Official launch of our map
On the 9th of November, the start of the Daily Mirror Christmas Campaign will mark the official launch of the Warm Welcome map. Once Spaces have registered, they will appear on our map alongside their address, opening times and facilities so people across the UK are able to find the closest Space to them.
Work so far
6,000 organisations have registered
4,000+ organisations are now live on our map
3,600 downloads of our resources, which includes a fundraising toolkit, safeguarding advice, and signposting services for guests.
30+ partners including libraries, churches, community organisations, charities, other faith groups and more