Social Justice

Map shows where you can find a warm bank near you this winter

This virtual map shows you where to find a warm bank near you this winter

warm banks/ hands reaching for warmth

Millions of people will be struggling to heat their homes this winter. Image: Pexels

This virtual map will help you find a “warm bank” or warm space near you if you are struggling to afford your energy bills this winter, as the cost of living crisis continues to hit households across the country.

New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed that one in six people used a warm bank last year – and there are fears the situation is only getting worse.

National Energy Action predicts that 6.3 million people will be trapped in fuel poverty, unable to afford their bills this winter.

Energy bills fell to £1,834 annually for an average UK household in October, as per Ofgem’s energy price cap. But the government is not continuing the energy rebate this year, a £400 discount on energy bills which was a lifeline to struggling families.

It is tragic that they are needed, but warm spaces are a lifeline for people who are struggling in the cost of living crisis. 

Launched by a coalition of charities, campaign Warm Welcome is helping churches, community groups, businesses and councils set up the warm banks – which offer a warm place to go for people without heated homes.

More than 7,000 organisations are registered with the campaign and that figure is growing. As campaigners have pointed out, it’s a sign of the bleak state of poverty in the UK that warm banks are needed – but they will help people survive this winter. 

The virtual map, found on the Warm Welcome’s website, shows all the warm spaces which are registered with the campaign and are open to guests. It was launched for the first time last year, when the cost of living crisis underlined an urgent need.

David Barclay, campaign coordinator, told The Big Issue last year: “It’s tragic that Warm Welcome spaces are required, but it’s heartening to see organisations stepping up and working together to provide a joined-up, nation-wide response. 

“We believe that a movement is stirring which can not just support people through this winter but also help us as a country change direction on poverty and destitution.”

There is an estimated £35 shortfall each week between the cost of surviving and universal credit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Trussell Trust. This means many people will have to look to their communities for support. 

There are warm banks all over the country, according to the map, and many are offering more than just warmth. Some are providing hot drinks and food, others have computer access and free WiFi and some have games, activities and even film nights for children. 

As the campaign’s website says: “Warm Welcome Spaces come in all shapes and sizes: community centres, libraries, churches, community cafes, arts centres, local businesses, and schools. No matter where they are based, you can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome. Every Warm Space is unique and offers different kinds of support and activities.”



There are warm spaces specifically for the elderly and others are running parent groups alongside their warm banks. 

The campaign was set up by a number of charities including Christians Against Poverty and Stewardship in association with ChurchWorks, a network of churches which joined together to help communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Many councils across the country have confirmed they are running warm banks this winter, or at least working with community organisations to ensure there are warm spaces for constituents.

Most libraries will once again offer warm spaces as the weather gets colder and the cost of living crisis continues to hit hard, a recent poll from Libraries Connected found. There are more than 3,000 across the UK.

If you can’t find a warm bank near you on Warm Welcome’s map, another way is to look on your local council’s website or contact it directly. Even if it is not running a warm bank itself, it should be able to direct you to a charity or other community organisation which is offering support this winter.

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