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Swansea Spaces offer safe, warm and welcoming places say council

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Grants are being made available to charities, voluntary and not-for-profit organisation to help them provide safe, warm and welcoming places within communities across Swansea where people can go to during the winter.

Swansea Council is creating a directory of Swansea Spaces where they say people know they will be welcomed and treated with dignity and respect.

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The council has already added some of its services including libraries and community hubs and now other organisations, community groups or even businesses are being urged to submit their listings for inclusion on the Swansea Spaces Directory.

It could include all sorts of community gatherings such as coffee mornings or book clubs, activities such as bingo or cards or just places where people can pop in to read or chat and stay warm.

The council will be making more than £80,000 of Welsh Government funding available to provide grants to organisations to help them with the additional costs of their warm space.

Funding could potentially be used to provide refreshments, snacks and if relevant to the location more substantive meals, additional expenses associated with extending the opening hours of existing facilities or contributions to heat and light if facilities are opened specifically.

Grants could potentially be used to fund additional cleaning costs, equipment to support adaptation of spaces, chairs, tables, contribution to internet costs or charge points for mobile phones or IT equipment, small items such as kettles, cups or plates, transport costs, volunteer costs or promotion of the Swansea Space.

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Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Alyson Pugh, said: “The cost of living crisis is affecting us all and the council is doing all it can to support residents.

“Dramatic rises in energy costs, food prices and rent and mortgage payments mean many people really are struggling and may be finding it hard to keep their homes at a healthy temperature, particularly those people at home all day, the elderly and vulnerable.

“But we recognise that demand for Swansea Spaces may not be from just older or vulnerable groups and may include others who are at home all day such as home workers and anyone facing fuel poverty this winter.

“The online directory of Swansea Spaces where people know that they will receive a warm welcome is part of our response to the current cost of living crisis.

“We are also now in a position to open a grant scheme to groups who can help and I’m very grateful to Welsh Government for this support.

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“This funding is not intended to replace or duplicate existing efforts but to expand or extend existing proposals or enable further spaces to be developed. 

“By taking a Swansea-wide approach and working with partners we will be better placed to provide the practical help that some people need and I would urge any organisation that is creating a warm space to let us know what they are doing so it can be included in the directory.

“If they need financial help I’d suggest they check to see if the grant funding is suitable for them.”

Because of expected demand it is suggest applications are limited to no more than £2,200.

The closing date for applications is Monday 28 November. The council says each application will be assessed on its merits.

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