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UK: “Warm Welcome” campaign, community response to energy poverty. 16.4 million people will be cold

It is estimated that 16.4 million people in the UK will be in “energy poverty” this winter, which is about 7 million homes and families, twice as many as in 2020. Among those most affected by energy poverty are the elderly, children, persons with disabilities, low-income families, and persons belonging to ethnic minorities. That is why the “Warm Welcome” campaign was launched as a “community response” to the cost-of-living crisis. The goal is to encourage organizations, associations and communities to open their doors and provide a warm space to those struggling to heat their homes. To date, more than 2,100 of these places were registered on the map. Launched by the ChurchWorks Commission, an ecumenical network established last year to meet post-pandemic needs, the campaign received widespread support. The list of partners includes religious (Christian and Muslim) organisations as well as secular, cultural, and recreational associations. Those providing a space are committed to making it “warm, welcoming and safe”, even if it is just for a few hours a day or a few days a week. Registered parishes, communities, associations, libraries and cultural centres are shown on the map with their opening hours and the services they make available: from free Wi-Fi to charging facilities, to hot drinks and food, to entertainment for children or activities for the elderly.

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