More than 300 people have made the most out of the ten ‘warm hubs’ opened across East Devon, in response to the cost-of-living crisis.
East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) housing service has seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the project during its first two weeks.
The hubs can be found in Axminster, Broadclyst, Exmouth, Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Seaton, Sidmouth and Woodbury.
Officers, along with the help of volunteers, help provide a warm space for residents to play games, have hot drinks and snacks, meet neighbours and friends and collect free warm items such as bed socks, blankets and woolly hats.
In the run up to the festive season, the hubs have also provided over 100 free Christmas lunches to all visitors, which has proved extremely popular.
One of EDDC’s tenants, Janet – Yonder Close Warm Hub regular, was so pleased with her experience of the Ottery warm hub she wrote a poem:
Our warm hub,
Is the place to go,
That brings warmth and cheer and hope,
Friendly with support who listens, understands,
That a warm cuppa, biscuit is all you need to turn that frown upside down,
And to smile as a lot of us haven’t done that in a long while.
No negative attitude but positive ones so no one feels alone,
They provide warm hats and gloves and fleecy blankets ,
To keep out the cold and let us feel so warm,
It gives us hope in times of struggle,
So thank you warm hub for all the hope and friendship you offer to every one of us."
Councillor Dan Ledger, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development, Sustainable Homes & Communities said
It’s really heartening to see residents utilising this project to socialise and interact with each other. I cannot thank the officers enough who have been involved in setting these session up and delivering them. We hope to continue as Janet suggests, welcoming more residents and producing positives for our communities"
Warm Hub details can be found at Warm Hubs - East Devon.
Warm Hubs will run until the beginning of April 2023 with a wide range of activities starting in the New Year, check the website for further details.
In the meantime, EDDC residents are encourages to come along, make new friends, and keep warm!
Further details of each event can be found on EDDC’s Facebook or by calling Lucinda on 07816 533803.