Birkdale Community Hub and Library at the old Station Master's House at Birkdale Railway Station in Southport

Sefton residents facing a difficult winter because of soaring fuel bills and rising prices in the shops, now have a network or Warm Spaces available across the borough where they can go without the fear of what they are spending on gas and electricity.

From today, Monday 7 November, Sefton Warm Spaces which include libraries, community centres, luncheon club, charities and places of worship will be open to the public. Venues are open on different days and at different times with some in the mornings, some in the afternoons and some stretching into the evening.

In Southport, venues include: Southport Library, Birkdale Community Hub, Compassion Acts, Woodvale and Ainsdale Community Centre, Holy Trinity Church, Leyland Road Methodist Church, and Brighter Living Partnership. The list does not currently include any venues in northern Southport. 

To make it easy for people to find their local Warm Space there is a web page at seftoncvs.org.uk/warmspaces which contains details of each day by day as well as an interactive map showing the locations across the borough. 

All ‘Warm Spaces’ will be heated, safe and friendly places where people can comfortably spend time reading, studying or chatting with others. Some venues, called ‘Enhanced’ Warm Spaces, will also offer hot drinks and food, activities, and other services such as free Wi-Fi. All Sefton Council libraries offer free computer and Wi-Fi access.

Sefton’s network of Warm Spaces has been coordinated by the Council and Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS).

They have also drawn up a Sefton Warm Space Charter, which claims that everyone will get a warm welcome, will be treated equally with dignity and respect and has a right to be warm in a safe space. The Charter also states that organisers will not tell anyone about people needing a Warm Space and that it doesn’t matter why people need to be there.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“Fortunately, we have had a mild autumn so far but as the weather gets colder, I am pleased that in partnership with Sefton CVS and groups and organisations across the borough, we now have this network of Warm Places.

“Sadly, they will be much needed by those people across the borough who are in real fear of putting on their heating in this national cost of living crisis.”

Angela White OBE, Chief Executive of Sefton CVS said:

“Sefton’s voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector have come together to provide essential support to Sefton residents across the borough through the warm spaces initiative in these challenging and unprecedented times. Working in partnership with Sefton Council, Sefton CVS and the VCF sector, community spaces will be made available during the Winter to provide warmth, companionship, information and community support.

“Looking out and caring for our local residents and communities is vital when so many are feeling so worried and isolated.”

Cllr Hardy said: “While I am so proud of the way that groups and organisations have stepped up to meet this challenge, I am dismayed that in one of the richest countries in the world, we are having to put in place measures that help people in Sefton with the cost of simply surviving.”

If you have an inquires regarding the Warm Spaces initiative, please email warmspaces@seftoncvs.org.uk or call us on 0151 920 0726

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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