SURREY’S WARM WELCOME HELPS OVER 16,000 PEOPLE
For the second year, Surrey County Council has organised a number of Warm Welcomes across the county. There are over 80 Warm Welcome Venues across Surrey in a range of venues including libraries, village halls and other community spaces.
Many Warm Welcomes offer additional services such as free hot meals, debt and employment advice, as well as social activities. These include board games and arts and crafts sessions, cooking classes and in one case, a children’s entertainer attends so children can run around after school while their parents can have an opportunity to speak to our volunteers!
Councillor Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities, said, “The Warm Welcomes are a lifeline to people in Surrey who are struggling with the continuing cost of living crisis, particularly in January which is typically the coldest month. I encourage anyone in need to find their nearest venue and go along. They provide far more than just a warm space you can expect a friendly face, welcoming environment, a hot drink and some good company.”
Since Warm Welcome venues opened their doors in November 2023, over 16,000 Surrey residents have attended sessions, getting a free hot drink, energy advice, winter essential items and much more.
With the current cold weather, we would like to remind residents Warm Welcome venues are open to everyone this winter free of charge – no matter your age or situation. You can find a full list of Warm Welcomes on the website: Warm Welcome Venues in Surrey – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk)
Feedback from venues and residents so far has been incredibly positive. One volunteer said, “The sessions are well-loved and well-attended. They are meeting a great need and a great demand. People enjoy the opportunity to keep warm, receive winter essentials, and receive warm hospitality.” Another volunteer said, “For some it is the highlight of the week. People enjoy coming to meet with others and enjoy refreshments and small snacks. Some visitors have begun to bring activities and inviting to others to join them.”