Community Hot-Spots


People sit at a long table in a big church. They are having tea and cake.

Once again, Norfolk communities pulled together this winter and knitted a network of support across our county

We wanted to make sure everyone had a warm space they could easily reach where they could meet others, get respite from the cold, and find support. 

In the heart of Norfolk, a heart-warming initiative took shape last winter – the creation of Community Hot-Spots. These were places where individuals can seek warmth, comfort, and companionship during the cold season, helping to combat the pervasive issue of isolation. In a time marked by high energy prices and the continuing impacts of the pandemic, these community spaces played a vital role in providing a lifeline to the county’s most vulnerable residents.

The significance of these Community Hot-Spots cannot be overstated. With the current economic challenges and the lingering effects of the pandemic, many individuals are facing heightened levels of isolation and hardship. By offering a welcoming environment where people can come together, socialize, and access essential resources, these spaces are instrumental in fostering a sense of belonging and support within the community.

Over 10,000 people found friendly faces on their doorstep through our Community Hot-Spots. 

What happened?

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the impact was clear to see. Many groups who received funding were inspired by the impact of their Hot-Spot on local residents and continued their activities into the summer as a way of bringing people together to engage in positive activities and to combat social isolation. 

This year, so many were inspired to donate to this innovative programme once again, and thanks to the support of individuals and local funders, we were able to open up over 115 Hot Spots across the whole county.

Community Hot-Spots 2023/24:

We could only provide this innovative network thanks to ordinary people in Norfolk who continue to donate their winter fuel payments to our popular Surviving Winter campaign. With donations from Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and the East of England Co-op, we were able to make an even bigger difference.

The difference we made together…

A group of older people sit around a hexagonal table, eating soup and drinking tea.
New Victory Hall

“It’s so nice to come in and sit down with someone else and have a meal. It may only be a soup and roll but, you know, it’s company.”

Visitor at New Victory Hall Hot-Spot in Neatishead

“Being able to get out to a place like this that’s really welcoming is great. It gives people a reason to get out and also to keep you in touch with the outside world. Every one is lovely here and we enjoy a cuppa and a treat in the warmth”

Volunteer at The Pantry, Kenninghall Community Hot-Spot
4 people sit around a table in a community centre taking part in a craft activity
The Pantry, Kenninghall

Support our campaign

“As a nearly 75-year-old, I’m lucky to be working, active and financially secure. But I know only too well that thousands of people in Norfolk struggle with ill-health, loneliness and being forced to choose between heating and eating. So when I got the government letter telling me I was about to get a £500 winter fuel payment, I quickly decided I would put it to good use and donate it to the Hot Spots programme.”

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair, Norfolk & Waveney NHS

Will you join Patricia and donate your unneeded winter fuel payment to help open even more Community Hot-Spots next year?

We were able to deliver this programme thanks to contributions from Equitix, Norfolk County Council, Breckland Council and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, as well as generous donations from the public into our Surviving Winter fund.

There’s a warm welcome near you…

Alongside Norfolk’s libraries and church groups, Norfolk Community Foundation’s Community Hot-Spots helped fill the gaps in provision to make sure that people had a warm space near them. The Warm Welcome website shows many different places where people went to be warm and well this winter in Norfolk.