Woman holding a hot drink

How to find a warm space this winter

If we’re worrying about heating our home, attending a free warm space might be the answer

If we’re struggling with heating costs this winter, it might be a good idea to see if there’s a warm space near us.

Warm spaces are places in the community where we can go to warm up for free, without feeling judged or guilty.

There may also be other services on offer, such as free food and wifi, sockets for charging our devices and even money guidance or support.

Some warm spaces are cafes and pubs – but unlike regular businesses there should be no pressure on us to buy anything.

How do I find a warm space?

Staying warm as the weather gets colder is important for our health. Ideally, when we’re inside the temperature should be 18C or above.

But with energy prices and the cost of living so high, plenty of us will be worrying about bills this winter.

Around one in four households in the UK is now in fuel poverty. So if we’re struggling, we’re certainly not alone.

Over the past few years, a network of warm spaces has sprung up across the country.

We can search on sites like Warm Welcome Campaign or Warm Spaces

Our council may also be able to help us find our nearest warm space. They may also have details on their website.

Other support with energy bills

As the temperature dips, some of us may be entitled to a Cold Weather Payment.

That’s a £25 payment when it drops below freezing in our area (or is forecast to) for seven days in a row.

We qualify if we’re on certain benefits, including Universal Credit. If we’re eligible, we don’t have to apply – it will be paid automatically.

Some areas have met the criterial already this winter. We can check by putting our postcode into a search.

The Cold Weather Payment runs until 31 March. We can get more than one £25 payment if it’s below freezing for two or more seven-day periods over winter.

In Scotland, we can’t get Cold Weather Payments but may qualify for a Winter Heating Payment instead. It doesn’t depend on the temperature and if we qualify we’ll automatically get £55.05 – probably by the end of January.

Image: Jana Rustmeier / Pexels

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