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West Cross community project gets ‘Swansea Spaces’ funding

A community project in West Cross that offers a free brunch and a chance to socialise every Wednesday is expanding its opening hours thanks to funding from Swansea Council and the Welsh Government.

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Swansea Space at Linden Centre

The Red Community Project, based in the Linden Centre, is now open to offer a safe, warm and welcoming space between 9.30am and noon for its Warm Wednesdays and also between noon and 3pm every Monday when it operates a food bank.

It is one of more than 70 projects in all areas of Swansea to have been offered funding under the council’s Swansea Spaces initiative in response to the cost of living crisis.

Some offer activities, some are a great way for people who may feel isolated to meet others, some offer a warm place to read a book, magazine or surf the net or even warm quiet areas where people can work.

All are committed to providing welcoming places people can go for free and a directory can be found online at swansea.gov.uk/swanseaspaces 

Rachel Matthews from the Red Community Project said there was an open invitation for people in West Cross and the surrounding areas to join them any Wednesday or Monday they wished.

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“We try and make it as warm and welcoming as possible and with the extra hours include some activities – this morning we had a quiz,” she said.

“Some people here say it’s the only time they see people all week so you don’t realise the difference that makes.”

The Warm Wednesday sessions are also attended where possible by local councillors, the local area coordinator, neighbourhood community policing officer and a representative of the council’s housing service.

Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Support, Hayley Gwilliam, visited the centre this month and heard from Rachel that the cost of living crisis was having a big impact.

Rachel said some people are unable to afford to turn on the gas or electric in their homes, while demand at the Monday food bank had more than doubled.

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Cllr Gwilliam said: “I’m really grateful to the Red Community Project for the invitation to attend and the opportunity to discuss the services they provide and to learn how they are supporting people in the community.

“There are some amazing charities and organisations in Swansea doing really important work to support people in this crisis and I’m in awe of them all.

“There are now more than 70 listings on our Swansea Spaces directory of places people can go and be made to feel very welcome.

“I’m pleased that Swansea Council is supporting many organisations and charities to continue or expand their offering and this would not have been possible without funding from Welsh Government so I’m very grateful for that.

“If you are lonely, isolated or simply looking to get out of the house and visit a warm and welcoming place then please take the time to explore the directory to see what is on offer.

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“Also if you know someone who may benefit then please pass on the information – I’d hate to think there are people who feel stuck in their homes when there are places in their community that are open, warm and welcoming.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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