Council opens two warm and well hubs

cost of living warm spaces

As winter bites, Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Kelly Parry has today launched (Monday) two #MidlothianCares warm and well hubs at Lasswade and Newbattle libraries. 

Free soup and bread

Among a range of measures approved by the cross party Cost of Living Taskforce led by Cllr Parry, the hubs will offer warm spaces and free hot drinks or soup and bread during normal opening hours.

What else is on offer

Residents will also be able to access the free wifi and enjoy books, card games and jigsaws. 

Advice on benefits

Meanwhile, library staff will be on hand to offer help and advice to make sure customers know where to go to make sure they are getting all the supports to which they are entitled. 

Scottish Government funding

The #MidlothianCares warm and well hubs will run throughout winter and will be paid for from Midlothian’s £1.36 million share of an £80 million Local Authority COVID Economic Recovery Fund distributed by the Scottish Government to councils across Scotland.

Needed as temperatures drop

Speaking at Lasswade Library on Friday before the hubs throw open their doors on Monday, Cllr Parry said: “It’s vital we get these hubs opened before the winter weather worsens.

A warm welcome

“Our libraries and staff have always been warm and welcoming so it makes sense to base our hubs in two of our main centres and to offer free hot drinks and soup with bread.

Residents struggling

“All councillors will be aware of constituents who can’t afford a hot drink or meal so we’re hoping the facilities will be well-used. Please come and use them, even if it is for a bit of warmth and some company. Staff are here to welcome you and to help.”

Help with affordable food

Other #MidlothianCares measures to help people struggling with the cost of living include £50,000 of  funding for food banks and pantries to make it easier for local people to get emergency and affordable food. 

Laundrette facilities

Plans are underway for a three month pilot offering support to 200 people to make sure they can afford to wash and dry their clothes at laundrettes once a week.  

Re-heatable meals

Free, re-heatable meals will also be made available at three different local venues to help feed up to 200 vulnerable people five days a week for three months during the winter. 

Expanding trusted partners network

Other help already agreed include £400,000 to expand the council’s ‘trusted partners’ – a network of local organisations offering help and support to those in need. 

Heat and Eat Fund

A ‘Heat and Eat Fund’ of £279,000 will help families not eligible for Scottish Welfare supports was among the first initiatives approved by the taskforce. 

Thanks to staff

Councillor Parry added: “Many thanks to all our staff who have organised the warm and well hubs in time for December. They are looking forward to their first customers.”

In the picture

Cllr Parry is pictured on left seated with cook/supervisor Brenda Syme-Davidson. At the back is Ross Craig, the Customer Service Team Leader, at Lasswade Library (back left) and Lasswade High School Depute Head Neil Chisholm, whose remit includes community initiatives. 

5 Dec 2022