On the 1st of December 2022, we launched our first-ever Warm Hub in response to the Cost of Living Crisis. Our hope was that in wake of the energy crisis, we could provide young people with somewhere warm to go and hot food. We hoped this would help to alleviate some of the spiralling costs.
We were concerned that young people would face increasing costs, and be forced to make decisions between essentials such as utilities and food (CenterPoint, 2022). We were also concerned that young people would face increased debt, which could impact their ability to maintain tenancies, and keep their utility supply constant.
Via feedback (qualitative data) obtained from young people, we found that the Warm Hub positively affected our young people in many ways including:
Supporting them to spend less on heating
Providing extra support, guidance, money-saving advice & help to access accommodation
Supporting them to access hot food and cut back via 'Hot Food Thursdays'
Providing an alternative 'warm' space to socialise, as opposed to spending the majority of their time in accommodation or hostel rooms.
We were grateful for the press coverage and support of local services in publicising what we were doing and supporting us to reach those who needed the service.
Below you can see some of the press coverage about our Warm Hub for young people in Coventry:
Our Warm Hub was also mentioned on FreeRadio Coventry and Warwickshire, Vic Minett's BBC CWR show and CovFeed. You can hear more about our warm hub on Covfeed here.
We were kindly supported via the donation of items such as hot chocolate and biscuits from local citizens, as well as a generous one-off donation which funded the Warm Hub's activities by Taylor Wimpey. We were grateful for donations of winter items such as hats, scarf and gloves from the public. Young people were able to help themselves to these during sessions, to keep warm at home.
Finally, we'd like to say a big thank you to the general public, young people, staff and partners who contributed to our 'money-saving tips' board and social media campaign. Tips were shared online and on our youth centre noticeboard. It was great to see the community supporting each other during such a difficult economic time.
We hope to release the final usage statistics for Bardsley's Warm Hub soon! In the meantime, you can see the numbers from around the half way mark in our newsletter.