Keeping people warm and connected this winter

People gather around a bar at a community social club
We’ve launched our annual Surviving Winter campaign to combat isolation and loneliness and support people’s wellbeing during the colder months.

As energy, food and other prices continue to rise, many are growing concerned about the impact of the winter months. From worrying about putting the heating on to concerns about getting into debt, or feeling anxious about going out and spending money to join things and so end up trapped at home, more and more people’s mental and physical health are suffering.

Recognising the increasing impact of the cost-of-living crisis, we are using this year’s winter campaign to create a network of warm spaces in every community where people can take a break from the cold, meet with local people and access any support they may need to help them through the winter months.

“We know this winter will be one of the harshest for many people, both financially and physically. As ever, we’re making sure people have the support they need, but we can’t do it alone. If you’re an individual or business in a position to step up and help your local community over the coming months, please consider supporting our Surviving Winter appeal. Together, we can ensure that everyone has a place to go where they can feel warm, welcome and well this winter.”

Claire Cullens, Chief Executive, Norfolk Community Foundation

Creating Community Hot-Spots across Norfolk

To help provide charities and community groups with the opportunity, funding and support to establish these warm spaces in the county, we have created the ‘Community Hot-Spot Fund’ for organisations to apply for grants of £2,000. Community groups interested in becoming a ‘community hot-spot’ are encouraged to apply for funding or to get in touch to find out more.

The funding could be used in many ways including creating a new warm space in a village hall that provides community members with the opportunity to have a cup of tea and a chat, by creating a partnership with a venue in a community such as a café or pub, or by helping to support the costs involved in running a current group or increase its capacity. Every community hot-spot will have a sticker displayed to help identify places people can go, and a website has already been created showing a map of warm spaces.

Community Hot Spot Logo. Orange circle with radio waves emitting from a pin on a map.

How you can help

Knowing how Norfolk steps up to meet a crisis and the vital role charities and community groups play, we are expecting to be inundated with opportunities to help support people this winter and are encouraging those who can to donate to our Surviving Winter appeal.

Members of the public can donate what they can afford or choose to take part in the #DonateTheRebate campaign by making a donation equivalent to their Winter Fuel Payment, the October Council Tax Rebate or this winter’s universal Energy Bills Discount. Donations can be made on our website or by sending a cheque made payable to Norfolk Community Foundation (referencing Surviving Winter on the reverse) to Norfolk Community Foundation, 5th Floor St. James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN.

Published: 7th October 2022