Making sure residents have a warm place to stay this winter is a present-day need that we are taking steps to respond to. It is a public health issue that the council takes seriously and has decided to confront by providing an additional welcoming communal space for residents to access.
It has been agreed that the Harlow Playhouse will open its doors to everyone who needs a warm and inviting space throughout the winter.
Residents can attend twice a week to access a warm area, with free hot drinks available, and the opportunity to talk with local support services.
Councillor Joel Charles, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Business and Community Resilience, said:
"It is time to show more compassion and do all we can as a community to support those residents in our town who are struggling to make ends meet. The cost of living means that an increasing number of residents are finding it hard to afford certain core essentials. The Government has already stepped in to provide welcome support, but the council rightly believes it has a moral obligation to step in too and do more to help those hardest hit by the cost of living.
“A town-wide campaign has been launched not just on the warm space initiative, but the action needed to support vulnerable people in our community.
“Offering people a warm and safe place to stay at the Harlow Playhouse is only one of the steps the council is taking. Working with local charitable, voluntary and faith-based groups, the council is actively looking at opportunities to provide further support where it is feasible to do so.
“It is also important to recognise the work already undertaken by the charitable and faith-based groups in our town to support the vulnerable. The community response is making an important difference and helping more people remain safe and warm as we head towards Christmas."
Warm spaces will be available in the following community venues:
Harlow Central Library, The High
Monday to Friday (9am to 5.30pm) and Saturday (9am to 5pm)
Streets 2 Homes, 2a Wych Elm
Monday to Friday (9am to 2pm)
Teas and coffees are available (50p donation, fees not applicable to homeless)
St Paul’s Church, CM20 1LP (Maybury Drop-in Centre)
Tuesdays (11am to 3.30pm)
Fridays (11am to 3.30pm)