Urgent plea for warm places as Welsh families choose to heat or to eat
Dale Spridgeon, Local Democracy Reporter
An urgent plea has been issued for locations people can attend to keep warm amid concerns families are being forced to choose between heating and eating.
As the winter approaches, and energy bills soar, an appeal has gone out for support for families across Anglesey and Gwynedd.
‘Croeso Cynnes’ (Warm Welcome), run by Menter Môn, Medrwn Môn, Anglesey Council and Gwynedd Council, will provide a list of warm places where people can go for shelter.
The project is as an urgent response to the cost-of-living crisis and the increase in the price of energy which will be a challenge for many over the winter months.
As a first step, groups, businesses, and organisations across both counties are asked to register if they have a building or space they can offer people to keep warm.
Sioned Morgan Thomas, Menter Môn’s director of projects, said: “We want to highlight locations in our communities that are safe, warm, and welcoming for people who are finding it difficult to heat their homes.
“Our message is simple – if you are an organisation, a community centre or business, that can offer a space to provide a ‘Warm Welcome’ to vulnerable people let us know.
“We will then promote your location on our interactive map and share information through our partners with those who need help the most.”
Deputy leader of Gwynedd Council, Councillor Nia Jeffreys said: “It is essential that we work together to respond to the challenges our residents face as winter approaches.
“I’m pleased that we have been able to move quickly to make hubs available in our libraries and Healthy Living centres.
“But I am calling on other local organisations and businesses to come forward if they can, to join the scheme.
“It’s difficult for everyone, but we understand that many will have to make very tough decisions and have to choose between feeding their families or heating their homes.
“We want to identify safe and warm locations that are willing to open their doors, and that residents and agencies know where these places are.”
Councillor Alun Mummery, housing portfolio holder at Anglesey Council, added: “As fuel costs continue to rise, we are pleased to be part of the ‘Croeso Cynnes’ project and giving people free access to heated buildings.
“It’s so important that we act, as the current crisis will also have an impact on people’s physical and mental health.
“This is a nation-wide problem which is causing widespread concern – we are in a position to make a difference locally by working together, so it’s essential that we respond and do what we can.”
Croeso Cynnes is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, through the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, with additional support from the Anglesey Charitable Trust.
Project partners are keen to appeal to groups and businesses to register their interest to take part.
A map of the ‘Croeso Cynnes’ locations already registered is also available.
The organisation says more information will be shared on partners’ social media accounts over coming weeks and months.
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