A list of ‘warm and welcoming spaces’ open to the public this winter is being compiled by Salisbury City Council.
Venues and organisations running a free or low-cost space that is open to the public are being urged to come forward and be placed on a list of places where people can go to warm up.
It comes as the cost-of-living crisis continues across the country.
The council’s Communities Team has come together with groups including Safer and Supportive Salisbury, Silver Salisbury and Harnham Community Network, to discuss what the community can and is already doing, that will support residents this winter.
They now plan to work together to build a list of all the Warm and Welcoming spaces open to residents in the city at low or no cost.
The initiative has been prompted by concerns people will be sitting home alone this winter in unheated houses and spiralling energy costs, but it is also about celebrating the fantastic community-led spaces already available in Salisbury.
Chair of Safer and Supportive Salisbury, Anne Trevett, said: “I just love this initiative by the city council. It’s really important as a way of helping with the heating crisis but it is also about drawing people together over a cup of coffee, not being alone worrying.
“And it’s also across the city – each of us finding a place to meet in our own little community. Building on our strengths.”
Any community group, church, space or business who already opens their doors to welcome anyone in the community can download the Warm and Welcoming Spaces form on the council website at https://bit.ly/3xQK9L1 to put their space on the listing.
The list will be collated by the Communities Team and published and shared by all the partners.
Wiltshire Council Housing’s Resident Engagement team is also backing the initiative.
Once Salisbury’s local list is created it will be shared to make sure it reaches as many people as possible.
Places where the public can visit to share a cup of tea and some conversation include the Cross Barr Café, at the Barrington Centre in Bishopdown, open from 11am on Thursdays for tea and cake for a donation only and run by volunteers from St Mark’s Church.
The city council itself runs a community café at the Baptist Church on Brown Street from 10am to noon on Tuesday mornings, where any resident can get a free cup of tea.
And Salisbury Library is open through the week.
Councillor Victoria Charleston said: “Salisbury City Council are delighted to coordinate this scheme with our city partners as we approach the colder months of the year, and our Communities Team are always ready to give local people a warm welcome.”
If you run a warm and welcoming space, download the form, or get in touch with the Communities Team by email to email@example.com.