Community groups are being offered grants to help them offer a “warm welcome” to people in South Lanarkshire.
Up to £1,000 will be available to organisations to help them to open their doors during the cost of living crisis, for example to contribute to energy bills, cover the costs of hot drinks or food, or provide activities.
A total of £40,000 has been put up by South Lanarkshire Council – £10,000 each for the Cambuslang/Rutherglen, Clydesdale, East Kilbride and Hamilton areas – as part of a much wider range of initiatives this winter.
Council Leader Joe Fagan said: “The council is already partnering with South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture to establish a network of Warm Welcome places right across our area. Residents will be able to go there for warmth and company, with some venues offering activities through groups who will be able to hire space for free in SLLC venues.
“But we know from our experience during the worst of the Covid pandemic that there are lots of community groups out there who are more than willing to do their bit to offer a hand and open their doors to people who need help.
“Adding more venues will make it easier for everyone to find somewhere they can get a Warm Welcome, and that is why we are widening the scheme to invite these groups to join the network. Our grants will make it easier for them to do so, and allow them to do even more for those the welcome in.”
The new Cost of Living Additional Supports and Warm Welcome Initiative Community Support Grant is open to all constituted groups who are carrying out a community response to the current cost of living and energy crisis. Details of who can apply, and an online application form can be found on the council website.
Lesley McDonald, the council’s Finance and Corporate Resources chair, added: “The nature of this response can be varied as the council understands that all communities require different forms of support and community-based groups are best placed to identify the support required.
“Community groups that receive a grant – and any others who want to join – will be added to the Warm Welcome initiative, more details of which will be revealed at an official launch early next week.”
After that launch, people who want to attend a Warm Welcome venue will be able to find out what is available near them, or at any other location, with details of when it is open and what supports will be available.
In a separate initiative, earlier this week the council revealed details of £100,000 additional funding for registered foodbanks operating across South Lanarkshire this winter. In total, the council has a programme of cost of living supports valued at more than £96 million this year.