Posted on: Friday 21 October 2022
Libraries across Torfaen are now providing warm spaces for people struggling with the cost of keeping their homes warm due to the significant rise in energy costs.
The cosy spaces are open to anyone for as long as they need while the libraries are open.
Visitors can take advantage of the book collections, computers and free wifi during these hours and participate in events such as craft classes, boardgame sessions and storyteller visits. Refreshments will be available at some of these sessions.
Torfaen Council’s employability team is also hosting a warm centre at Panteg House, in Griffithstown, where visitors can also receive a free hot meal and drink.
Local resident Lyn Jones, who attends each week, said: “I can’t really afford to put the heating on at home at the moment, so coming along for a warm, meeting new people and accessing the support on offer, has greatly improved my mental health.”
The Warm Welcome service is open between 12pm and 4pm every Wednesday and allows people to access further financial advice and health and wellbeing support.
Allan Peploe, Director and Secretary at Panteg House, said: “A warm welcome is what you get when you visit Panteg House. I am pleased we have linked with Torfaen Council to provide this friendly support service for all in our community.
“We are all experiencing very difficult times, with increases in food, fuel and energy bills having a huge financial and stressful impact on families and individuals. Winter will soon be with us, so please come along and have warm, some hot food and in the meantime stay safe and take care."
Other warm centres are being provided by charities and community groups across the borough, details of which can be found on the Connect Torfaen website.
Torfaen Executive Member for Children, Families and Communities, Councillor Fiona Cross, said: “I'm heartened these initiatives have been implemented by grass roots community groups and the council proactively. Sadly, they're much needed service for anyone struggling over the winter months ahead.
They're inclusive, welcoming and vary in the opportunities they offer so it's wise to check the Connect Torfaen website in advance. If you're struggling and need specific advice many of these locations will be able to guide you to right support if not provided it directly.
For more information about library opening times and the wider support around the rising cost of living, visit the Torfaen Council website.