Cosy Spaces Programme update

Back in October, individuals from a number of community organisations got together to consider what could be done to combat the inevitable challenges ahead due to the combination of cold weather and ever increasing costs. Recognising that there are already many cosy spaces on offer within our community, a CAP led funding application was approved by PKC’s communities team, enabling extra spaces to open during the winter period to fill the gaps, along with the provision of “cosy packs” – items to support people at home, blankets, body warmers, fleece scarves etc.

The Cosy Spaces programme was born, setting out to share information about what was available within the community.

The library have had a flask of tea and coffee available every day, with some delicious biscuits and comfy chairs. And each day, there have been a number of people enjoying this space with numerous comments received about how important its been to them.

Numbers have increased in Mens Shed and Archway – the two groups provide a warm welcome all year round (and their sessions continue every week) so its great to see more people enjoying whats offered here on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Logos opened their doors on a Monday morning – and the sessions provided the opportunity to provide digital support and also welcome Home Start too.

APC and the Bowling club provided a welcome on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with two new Wednesday and Friday lunchtime sessions run by the kind people of Inner Wheel, SWI and Our Ladies Church. Jackie from the FoodBank carried out lots of work behind the scenes to support with the supply of tasty supplies.

The soup and a cuppa sessions made a huge impact – with around 25- 30 people attending each week. David and Noreen Homewood attending every session ensured that people were welcomed in, introduced to people and made to feel instantly welcome. People talked about these sessions initially being a reason to leave the house and then becoming something they looked forward to, with new friendships made. Its clear that the past few years have impacted peoples motivation to get out and about and having this space certainly helped. The atmosphere was warm and fun, lots of laughter and smiles, a really great place to be. Fortunately Soup and a Cuppa will continue on Fridays throughout April and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to restart the programme as the weather turns colder again towards the end of the year.

Thanks to the Town Bus, travel to the sessions was easy, the timings of the sessions worked well with the bus timetable. And thanks to the outpatients department at St Margarets too for sharing the Cosy packs there too!

When we initially explored what impact the Community Action Plan could have, one of the hopes was that it would bring people together – The Cosy Spaces programme was the first CAP funding application and the fund enabled people in the community to come together to do something fantastic. Hopefully this is the first of many such projects.

Thank you very much to everyone involved. The need for this project was far greater than we initially anticipated and the impact its made has been great.