Honiton: Co-op increase funding for community groups providing ‘warm spaces’
Since its launch in December 2022, the Co-ops Warm Spaces initiative has given away £240,000 to 300 groups.
By Kate Baxter
Posted: Wednesday, 25th January 2023 12:00 am
The Co–op have increased the funding available for community groups who provide a 'warm space'.
With Devon experiencing freezing temperatures, many families and individuals are making use of community run 'warm spaces' which have popped up across the UK this winter.
There are several warm spaces in Honiton, including at The Beehive, Library, Community Use Building and Honiton Family Church,
Working in partnership with Crowdfunder, community groups can now apply for Co-op match funding of £5,000 per group until the end of February, up from £3,000.
Co-op is giving existing groups £500 each to help meet their targets and all new groups will also receive the cash donation to help kickstart fundraising.
Since the initiative launched in December Co-op's Warm Spaces funding has already paid out £240,000 to 300 groups.
All community groups with live fundraising campaigns as part of the fund have been given £500 from Co-op to help them reach their fundraising goal and all new groups who sign up will also receive a £500 payment to kick start fundraising.
Eligible groups who already provide a warm space and want to increase opening times or extend existing services or activities this winter can apply for match funding – up to £5,000 per group is available by applying at coop.uk/warmspaces by 28th February 2023 (fundraising to be completed by 31st March 2023).
This funding comes as a welcome boost, with insight from more than 3,000 local community causes across the UK showing that nearly two-thirds (59%) of projects have experienced a shortfall in funding over the past 12 months. Over three- quarters (84%) of local causes have seen an increase in demand, particularly those providing support for people through the cost-of-living crisis.
Over a quarter (27%) of community projects said they were considering having to reduce services as a result of shortfalls in funding, whilst more than a tenth (13%) of local projects have already closed or reduced services.
Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Member Participation at Co-op commented: "As the mercury drops and conditions turn icy this week, with more in the forecast, it's important to remember the vital work that community groups and organisations are providing to people across the UK at a time when it's most needed. As our Co-op research shows, we have a huge role to play in supporting these vital services that help during the cost-of-living crisis.
"I'd encourage groups to apply for our Warm Spaces Funding now and make use of the additional £500 funding as well as the match funding from Co-op so they can help to provide warm spaces to people in their community.
"Funding for warm spaces forms part of our response to our community missions of access to food, mental wellbeing support and opportunities for young people. Launching this funding boosts will help groups keep their lights and heating on as they bring communities together to keep warm in the coldest months of the year– increasing overall wellbeing. It may also mean people don't have to choose between accessing food or heating this winter. Plus, having a warm space allows the community to take a break from their everyday worries, improving their mental wellbeing.
"The £1m funding boost wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for our members choosing Co-op and raising funds to support communities every time they shop with us. Our customers and members can help even more by donating through Crowdfunder or take part by using the services that are being funded."