Warm Hub's are being set up across the country, their aim is to provide a place where people can meet up and stay warm during the cold weather, and saving on their heating bills, by using existing buildings which have to be heated anyway.
Libraries, Town Halls, Government Offices, Church Buildings, many of these large buildings are usually heated during the working day, and are being opened up to be used by the elderly, on benefits, or by those with current financial difficulties.
Many are also offering refreshment facilities, activities, and even health care.
If you mobile and are able to travel to such a centre, then why not turn off your heater and save some money, make use of the 'Free Heat' supplied, and chase away that loneliness and isolation by meeting up with others.
Things can be very tight when trying to live on a pension or when on benefits, or even for single parent families or those with low income.
Woo has tried to put together a collection of ideas to help us manage during the approaching cold spell. These ideas may be able to help us to save a little money on our electric and gas usage, and enable us to feel more comfortable.
Having a simple smart meter can help you easily see what appliances are using the most electricity, they display the current usage/cost per hour, so by turning on any appliance you can see how much it increases, being aware of how much it is costing you will help you reduce costs by cutting use down or reducing consumption by turning items off when not in use.
If you have a suitable modern meter, you are entitled to ask your power supply company for a Smart Meter also called a 'IHD' (In House Display) and most companies provide these free of charge.
Appliances with a heating element use the most electricity, that includes your Kettle, Toaster, and Filter Coffee Machine, These can each use up to 50p per hour of use.
If you are like me and enjoy your coffee, then the coffee machine can be on most of the day, either running through a fresh brew or keeping it at a drinkable temperature. That around £6 per day just for coffee!
I reduced this drastically by purchasing a catering style thermal flask, as soon as the coffee machine finishes running through, I pour the contents into the flask and turn off the machine. These flasks will keep things warm for 6-12 hours.
Boiling one kettle and saving the remaining water in a flask will reduce the need to re-boil it each time you want a drink. Kettles use even more electricity as they are designed to boil quickly.
A pump flasks as shown is also ideal for the elderly who are unsteady, or have mobility problems, being easily moveable, they can be placed on a table beside a chair or bed, preventing the need to walk to the kitchen every time they need a drink. They are also easy to use with those with Arthritic hands or grip issues.
Its easy to forget to turn lights off when moving around the home, and leaving lights on unnecessarily uses up electricity. Battery operated Motion Sensor lights are now very cheap to buy, and are easily fitted. I have fitted them in the hallway so that they detect movement and light the way every time i head for the kitchen or bedroom, and no longer have to remember to turn the lights off. You can get variations for around £3 from the Poundstore or on eBay.
They are also great if a few are fitted around the house in the cases of power failure, and will also provide emergency lighting towards the exits if power failed due to a fire.
credit to: Lana Joanna Jarvis
Credit to: Heat Geek
To assist with the current high cost of living, and to prevent hardship caused by not being able to afford the high costs of gas and electricity to continually heat your home, Warm Hubs have been created ready for the approaching colds spell.
Many large government buildings such as Libraries, Town Halls, that are continuously heated are being opened up to the members of the public to use during the day. This will allow them to save on their own heating costs by turning their electric or central heating off during the day and benefit instead from the free heat supplied at a Warm Hub.
Many Warm Hubs are also arranging refreshments. Being able to meet others for a chat over a hot drink can also help reduce isolation, depression and loneliness.
Some are arranging for activity programs. Bingo, Table games, Craft sessions, Singalongs, Talks and demonstrations.
Some are arranging for Health Professionals to attend, to promote well-being, offering advice.
Does your business have large empty offices or other suitable area that are already heated during working hours, and has access to toilets?. Would your company be willing to offer this room to those who are maybe struggling to keep warm this winter? Or maybe you can donate refreshments, snacks etc.
Whether its making refreshments, cleaning up, or just generally assisting, volunteers are needed to ensure the Health & Safety of all visitors.
Have you got a chess set, draughts, Dominoes, cards, or any board games that could be used? Maybe you could even play along with visitors.
Maybe you are good at painting nails and have part used stock, I'm sure many of the ladies would enjoy a little pampering. Many men would appreciate a quick trim if you are a hairdresser or Barber.
Maybe you could help explain or teach how to use computer and phone based online services to those who are not technology minded?.
Or can do craft work suitable for abilities and mobility.
Maybe Government Dept agents can attend to help visitors to fill in forms for heating grants etc.
How about banks providing a Banking Hub on these days?
Below I will post information about various Warm Hubs that I come across, but to find your nearest Warm Hub you may have to telephone your local Town Council, or use a search engine to find news about places that have been offered for use.
DO YOU HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT A WARM HUB?
OR HAVE MONEY SAVING IDEAS?
If so then use the contact button at top right of the page and email it for inclusion in the WOO 'Surviving Winter' pages.
The Town Council has agreed the use of the Assembly Rooms at the Town Hall as a 'Warm Hub'
“We want to talk to people when they come here, as well as offering help and advice, but also just socialise in a friendly environment.”
The initiative is still looking for advisers to consult people on energy bills at a later date, as well as extra volunteers to help with the organisation and donation of items.
The Town Council is planning to open the Town hall as a Warm Hub on Tuesday, October 31.
The hub will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm
the Methodist Church on High Street will also be open to all, along with other days through the month including a movie afternoon! There are even plans to introduce craft sessions and a Friday Singalong.
The hub will be open for morning sessions from 09:30 Mon, and 10:00 on Wed.
A third War-Hub has begun to operate in Welshpool. The Baptist Church located in Chelsea Lane behind the Talbot Inn, will open it's doors each Friday from 10 am until noon.
The community initiative in Montgomery will be see a warm hub available every Monday and Thursday from 09:30 - 16:00 in the Institute in Arthur Street. There will be a hot light lunch, tea and coffee, along with easy chairs and wi-fi, all at no charge.
Katrina Collins explained: “This is for everyone. Regardless of your financial situation. It offers a place where you can come; somewhere you don't have to worry about heating your home, somewhere you don't have to worry about whether it's cheaper to have a cold lunch rather than use the cooker and somewhere where you don't have to be on your own. The cost of living affects us all. Even if your bank balance is healthy, the worries are still the same. This is an all-inclusive initiative. Nobody has to feel they don't fit the criteria - there is no criteria - young or old, everyone is welcome. even people who work from home can “bring your laptop in. If you're sitting at home alone, then don't. We have all you need: warmth, food and good company should you want it,” she said.
The Institute building is also home to Montgomery Library, so a plentiful supply of books is available.