Formed in the depths of the worst Cost of Living Crisis in 70 years, the Warm Welcome Campaign emerged as a collective response to resource, champion and connect Warm Welcome Spaces in every community across the UK through the winter of 2022-23.
We were so thankful for the many churches and ChurchWorks partners who joined the campaign so that we were able to support a network of more than 7000 Warm Welcome Spaces of every shape and size. These spaces hosted nearly 2.5 million individual visitors who were welcomed by over 17,000 volunteers every week.
Our impact evaluation showed us that more than half of the visitors who came to the space would have been at home with the heating off. Along with providing warmth and welcome during the cost-of-living crisis, the Warm Spaces played a significant role in tackling loneliness and isolation and improving people’s mental health and wellbeing. When we asked people how often they felt lonely before they started coming to a Warm Welcome Space, almost 40%responded with ‘always’ or ‘often’. When asked how often they felt lonely since coming to the Space, this number dropped to just 6%.
This winter, the Warm Welcome Campaign is back with the vision to turn poverty and isolation into warmth and connection through the power of local spaces made by and for the community. We want everyone to access a warm and welcoming space, to connect with others, make new friends, and feel part of their local community, so no-one has to face poverty or isolation alone.
We’ve come together as a coalition of over 50 charitable organisations, including many ChurchWorks partners, to pursue our big ambition of growing a network of accessible, inclusive and well-resourced Warm Welcome Spaces in every part of the UK.
From churches to art galleries, lunch clubs to fitness classes, co-working spaces to the chance to read a book over a cuppa, community choirs to children’s activities, Warm Welcome Spaces offer a place for everyone to come and be warm, spend time in the company of others, and if they choose, engage in a range of activities. Every space is unique and we’re proud to celebrate the variation in spaces according to the interests, needs and choices of each community. You might like to watch our video to get a sense of what our Warm Welcome Spaces mean for our communities.
If you have a space that is free, warm, safe, and welcoming for any number of hours during the week, this is your invitation to register your space with Warm Welcome. Take a look at our Getting Started Guide to reflect further on this could look like for you.
In registering with us, you’ll receive:
1. Help with accessing funding opportunities and potential resources for your warm space.
2. Support to develop and publicise your space with our Warm Welcome Space Handbook and Communications Toolkit.
3. Help to raise awareness of your Warm Welcome Space via our national campaign, across the media, across digital channels, and via our online map.
4. Support in attracting volunteers through our volunteer map and volunteer partnership with Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.
5. Access to practical tips and guidance from our network of Warm Welcome Spaces about how to ensure your space is accessible and inclusive.
6. Connections with other Warm Spaces in your community so you can network and share ideas and good practice.
Our online map goes live as the clocks change. This is your chance to join us in our vision for a fairer, friendlier society. We would love to have you involved.
If you need any help email the Warm Welcome Campaign: email@example.com