There is a cost-of-living crisis in the UK resulting in unprecedented pressures on people already in poverty, and this winter despite the support given by Government, thousands of people in Gateshead will be forced to make tough decisions about when and what they eat, what they can do in life, and when they can afford to heat their home.
Gateshead wants to do more to help its residents, delivering upon its Thrive ambitions to ensure we:
- Put people and families at the heart of everything we do
- Tackle inequality so people have a fair chance
- Support our communities to support themselves and each other
- Work together and fight for a better future for Gateshead
- Invest in our economy to provide opportunities for employment, innovation and growth
In doing so, we wish to work with our local partners, building on the great work we did during the pandemic, to create a network of Warm Spaces, a group of places where Gateshead people can come together to stay warm, perhaps enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit.
We have created a directory of all the places available to our residents across the public, private, health and voluntary sectors so that anyone who is cold knows where they can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company and some hot refreshments.
Energy bills have increased significantly for many households. The government's position on support is evolving, with some measures already announced, including:
- Residents in council tax band A to D (or band E where there is a disabled reduction) have received a £150 council tax rebate.
- A new Energy Price Guarantee which will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas so that a typical household pays, on average, around £2,500 a year on their energy bill this winter (a saving of around £1,000 on originally predicted prices). This is not a maximum cost - your bills may be higher or lower depending on your circumstances and usage.
- All domestic energy customers in Great Britain will receive a £400 grant to help with the cost of their energy bills through the Energy Bill Support Scheme.
- All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter.
- People with disabilities will receive an extra £150 to help with the particular extra costs they face.
- The Household Support Fund helps households who are not eligible for other kinds of help or need further support. The Government announced a further £500 million of support via the scheme, which will now run until March 2023.
The reality is that for most families, this support will not be enough and does not address the rising cost of food and fuel and other necessities.
This means that although people will have an extra money to go towards their energy costs it may not make enough of a difference.
If you already offer this type of facility, read about what you can expect expect if you offer a Warm Space and how to sign up to our directory - find out more.
You'll get a warm welcome as well as Warm Space
Every time you come to a Warm Space you'll be given a warm welcome from the staff and volunteers there.
Everyone is treated equally, with dignity and respect
Everyone has a right to be warm, so everyone in a Warm Space treats people, and is treated by people, with dignity and respect.
Your Warm Space will be a safe space
Your Warm Space will stick to the safeguarding policies that it always uses, and it will stick to food hygiene rules too!
We'll not tell anyone about you needing a Warm Space
If you want to share the reasons you need a Warm Space, someone will listen, but they won't tell anyone else unless you give them permission, or they must because of their safeguarding policies.
It doesn't matter why you need a Warm Space
Every Warm Space is a non-judgemental space; whatever the reason you have for needing to come in, you'll be treated the same and never judged.