Councils award funding to provide warm spaces this winter

31 community projects have received a share of more than £36,000 to help their communities this winter.

More than 30 community projects in Babergh and Mid Suffolk have each received a share of more than £36,000 to keep residents warm and connected this winter.

The ‘Living Well in Winter’ grant was introduced in 2023 to support local VCFSE (voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise) organisations in providing new accessible spaces and activities, or expand upon existing projects, in order to provide warm spaces and help tackle social isolation within the districts. 

A wide range of organisations have now received grants between £500 and £2,000, with successful projects offering warm spaces, coffee mornings, movie nights, skill development workshops, lunch clubs, activity sessions, and safe spaces for a range of ages, from toddlers and teens to senior citizens.

In total, the Living Well in Winter grant has awarded £36,709.79 to 31 organisations, with £21,247 shared between 17 projects in Babergh and £15,462.79 split between 14 projects in Mid Suffolk.

Cllr Deborah Saw, cabinet member for people and place at Babergh District Council, said: “I’m really delighted that organisations in Babergh have put forward such a variety of projects that will make a real difference to our communities.
“Winter is often very tough on families and older people, particularly during the current challenging cost-of-living crisis, so I’m glad that we can help these fantastic local groups to do such good work in our district.”

Cllr Andy Mellen, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “I’d like to thank all of the people who make projects like these happen in our communities.

“We hope that this extra funding will go a long way to supporting the wellbeing of residents during the colder months and help people to forge new connections within their communities.”

Babergh applications awarded funding:
•    Lavenham Community Council - weekly coffee mornings and monthly film shows 
•    Layham Village Hall - Lunch and Warm winter social group 
•    Bumblebee Children's Charity - additional session per week 
•    Gainsborough's House - Support for Volunteers Warm Welcome Coffee Club 
•    Holbrook Methodist Church - Living Well in Winter - Community Cafes 
•    Ladybirds Pre School Leavenheath – Little Ladybirds
•    Thorpe Morieux Café – Thorpe Morieux coffee, cake and chat
•    Leavenheath Village Hall – Film night
•    Long Melford Parochial Church Council – Warm space at St Catherine’s with Holy Trinity Long Melford
•    Sudbury Baptist Church – Mid-week community groups
•    Leavenheath Community Pantry and Hardship Fund – Warm space
•    Eden’s Project – Teen warm hub
•    Groton Parochial Church Council – Mary’s House warm space
•    Alpheton Jubilee Hall – Warm Wednesdays
•    Bures Parochial Church Council – Open café and pop-up shop
•    East Bergholt Community Café – Get out and about
•    Stour Valley Men’s Shed – Community engagement and skill development at Stour Valley Men’s Shed

Mid Suffolk applications awarded funding:
•    Wattisfield Community Centre - Wattisfield VH Open Door for Winter 
•    The Coddenham Centre Social Space - Warm Space and Soup lunches 
•    Rickinghall and Botesdale Baby and Toddler Group - RaBBaTs
•    Debenham Parish Council – Debenham warm hub
•    Bedfield and Monk Soham Community Club – Winter activities
•    Mickfield Village Centre – Living well in winter
•    Occold Recreational and Amenities Council – Warm winter social activities for Occold
•    Syleham and Wingfield Village Hall – Coffee and chat
•    Mendlesham Meetup – Friends and food Friday
•    Buxhall Village Hall Management Committee – Buxhall tea room
•    Tostock Village Hall – Warmth and wellbeing in Tostock
•    The Vine Church – Weekly warm space drop-in session, social club and parent and toddler club
•    Elmswell Parish Council – Wesley winter warmers
•    Communities Together East Anglia – You’re welcome

Communities Together East Anglia host a session in 2023