Warm and inviting spaces, hot drinks, activities, and the opportunity to connect with others are promised this winter in our new ‘Warm Welcomes’ initiative.
‘Warm Welcomes’, launched on Wednesday 2 November at Chelmsford Library, commits to supporting residents over the winter, particularly those affected by the cost-of-living crisis and rise in energy prices. Local launches will be taking places at libraries across Essex on Saturday 5 November.
While libraries across the county open year-round for residents, we recognise the need to respond to the rise in living costs by providing additional support for residents this winter.
This additional support includes warm drinks (availability will vary in each library), warm spaces for groups, and extra clubs and activities including arts and crafts, homework clubs, cookery, mindfulness activities, advice sessions and skills and training. The offer will vary across libraries. Find out what is available in each library*.
In addition to library staff helping facilitate activities and being on hand to engage with library users, we're recruiting ‘Warm Welcomes’ volunteers across the county’s libraries, who will be on hand to offer company to those feeling isolated, give advice and guidance to those in need, and run activities, clubs and events for residents to enjoy.
ECC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “We acknowledge what a difficult time it is at the moment for people up and down the country, with many worrying about how they might keep warm and well this winter.
“Today we have launched Warm Welcomes, one of the many initiatives we are launching to support residents through the cost-of-living crisis, particularly through the winter months.
“Our libraries are loved and used by communities across Essex, so it made sense to expand our offer in libraries to provide extra support to those that need it.
“Even though our library buildings will provide physical warmth for those that need it, the additional support launching today as part of ‘Warm Welcomes’ will bring social and emotional warmth to residents too, which is so important, particularly during these trying times.
“Whether it is popping in for a hot drink and a chat, coming in to use our free Wi-Fi in a quiet and warm environment, or wanting to make new friends or try something new, our hope is that there is something for everyone this winter at Essex libraries.”
*Walton Library is closed for damp-proofing until early March; the nearest static library is Frinton.