North Yorkshire libraries to be warm banks as Scarborough Council allocates £10k to support community organisations

North Yorkshire libraries will act as warm banks during the winter amid calls for community groups and residents to “look out” for their neighbours and friends.
Scarborough Library. pic Richard PonterScarborough Library. pic Richard Ponter
Scarborough Library. pic Richard Ponter

Due to the rising cost of living and increasing energy bills for most households, organisations and groups across the county are aiming to provide various forms of support to residents this winter.

This includes Scarborough Council which has allocated £10,000 to assist community-based organisations in providing community spaces where residents can come to keep warm during the winter months.

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The grants of up to £300 are available to non-profit organisations and parish and town councils and can be used to cover utility and running costs, basic food or refreshment costs, materials and equipment, as well as room hire costs.

North Yorkshire County Council is also working with community support organisations in Scarborough and Whitby as well as providing cost of living support and hardship funding.

North Yorkshire County Council’s assistant director for policy, partnerships and communities, Neil Irving, said: “Over the winter months we are asking people to think about looking out for their neighbours, friends and family.

“This could involve getting together for a cup of tea; making sure they have accessed any financial support which may be available to them, or just checking on their wellbeing.”

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Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Irving said: “People can also approach community support organisations located across the county who have information on locally-run projects and support available in your area and can sign-post people to other help.

“A list of local community support organisations can be found here; www.northyorks.gov.uk/info/community-support-organisations.”

He added that some community spaces in North Yorkshire are looking at extending their opening hours and the range of activities they have on offer, and urged them to register on the website www.warmwelcome.uk.

In response to the cost of living crisis, Scarborough Council has set up a working group to examine ways in which benefits and entitlements can be made more readily accessible.

Cllr David Jeffels who is heading up the working group said the biggest obstacle to people accessing benefits is “communication and knowing where they can get the information, and that’s where we are coming into it.”

Mr Irving from North Yorkshire County Council added: “You will also get a warm and friendly welcome in one of our libraries if it’s appropriate to your circumstances.

“If you have problems with issues like mobility and you need support, have a chat with your local community support organisation which may be able to signpost you to appropriate help.”

Applications for funding from Scarborough Council’s Warm Welcome Grant can be made via the authority’s website and questions about it can be sent to [email protected].