Providing spaces for our community
The current energy and cost of living crisis has hit many people hard over the last year. With people struggling to afford heating bills, we wanted to do our bit to help the people in our communities.
Working alongside Clarion Housing, in December 2022 we launched "Warm and Welcome Spaces."
Hosted at 11 of our centres around the country, the scheme provided stigma-free safe areas for people to get what they needed. That could be somewhere to have a shower, enjoy a warm meal, socialise over board games or badminton, or simply come into a warm environment.
The take-up from local residents cemented the need for such a scheme with a large number of individuals visiting our 'Warm Hubs' for support. Our Wisewood site in Sheffield, was particularly relied upon during a powercut that affected the Hillsborough area over the winter, with an increased number of visitors to the site at that time.
Oliver Lee OBE, Chief Executive of Places Leisure explained at the time: “We know that people are acutely struggling with increasing energy costs and broader costs of living. We are finding ways to help, offering a space for those in need to have somewhere not only safe and warm, but a place in which they can socialise and be part of a community. We are proud to open Places Leisure facilities this winter and be a part of such a fantastic project and partnership. We hope it makes a small difference at such a challenging time.”
Ensuring our centres are the heart of the communities we operate within is a huge priority for Places Leisure and as an organisation we continue to monitor the need for these spaces and the requirements of those who live within the community.