‘WARM Banks’ are inviting struggling Rugbeians in from the cold to to help them with the soaring cost of heating this winter.
In another sign of the worsening cost-of-living crisis, compassionate volunteers at local churches are opening their doors so residents can stay warm without running up massive energy bills.
Members of the Revive Network of churches in Rugby – and a church in Lutterworth – are offering ‘welcoming, warm, safe and free’ spaces at different times across the week, as part of the national Warm Welcome campaign.
All venues are offering food, hot drinks and refreshments, and most are child-friendly – with some also providing parking, free wi-fi, working desks, charging facilities and TV.
Neil Plumbley, serving Bishop of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Rugby and Daventry area congregations, said he was concerned for local people who may be struggling financially – or who are just a little lonely.
He said: “Come and join us! Our team of volunteers stand ready and willing to welcome you.
“We know many people will face some impossible choices this winter and we want to provide a little respite from their circumstances, out of concern for others and a strong desire to connect with the local community.
“Our Warm Hub is open to everyone. So, whether you are employed or unemployed, on your own or with your kids, younger or older, are religious or agnostic – you can come in from the cold, share a hot chocolate or soup, play board games, charge your phone, do your work or homework, read a book, or simply sit and chat.”
Diana Mansell, administrator of the Revive Network, said Church leaders and congregations were concerned.
She said: “We know there’s a huge cost-of-living crisis happening, and people aren’t necessarily going to be able to put on the heating and stay warm.
“We’re conscious people are going to struggle, so we want to take a bit of pressure off and show the community is caring and looking after each other, just as we did with Covid.
“We welcome anyone opening their doors to provide somewhere warm, safe and free to join the scheme.”
Current participating venues are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Oliver Street (Mondays and Wednesdays, 10am-4pm), Christ Church Brownsover (Tuesdays, 2.30-4.30pm), Rugby Methodist Church Centre in Russelsheim Way (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10am-2pm; Fridays 10am-12noon) St Oswald’s Church in Lawford Road (Tuesdays, 10:45am-1pm), Long Lawford Methodist Church (Wednesdays, 9am-1.30pm), Rugby Salvation Army in Bennfield Road (Fridays, 10am-6pm), and Lutterworth’s Chapel Street Christian Fellowship (Thursdays, 2-5pm).