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A warm welcome

Instead of turning up the heating, you could turn up to one of the borough’s warm spaces instead, funded by Ealing Council to give residents a warm welcome from the cold.

The council has awarded a number grants, funded by the NHS, to help local voluntary, community and faith groups to run the warm spaces in the cold winter months, which help to pay for heating, refreshments, games and activities.

One of the spaces is at St Barnabas Church, in Pitshanger Lane, Ealing. This is the second year it has received council funding to run its memory café, a room in the church, as a warm space. Last year, they the money helped to pay for new coffee machines.

Valerie Aitken, one of the priests at the church, said: “We are thankful to the council for providing this funding, it doesn’t go unnoticed. People are struggling, even in so-called well to do parts of the borough.”

Everyone is welcome

The memory café is open on Thursdays from 10.30-midday and there is a pop-in session from 2-4pm. The church also runs a food pantry service on Wednesdays from 1-3pm where food parcels are available to those that are finding it hard to pay for groceries.

The sessions are a great source of enjoyment, where you can take part in quizzes, games, enjoy some music or sit quietly with a cuppa.

Valerie added: “Our band of volunteers here are wonderful, they home bake all the cakes we serve and offer company to people that come here. You don’t have to be a member of the church, we welcome everyone.”

The memory café is already hugely popular with residents at Chestnut Lodge, a nursing home that provides dementia care.

Activity co-ordinator at the home, Mariola Swietlcka, said: “A group of us go nearly every week and there is something different to do each time. One week we could be making Christmas cards and decorations, or another week there might be an entertainer. The residents have a great time there.”

Donate

If you would like to make a donation to the food pantry, you can deliver non-perishable goods to the church from 1-3pm on Wednesdays.

For more information go to www.barnabites.org

Find a warm space

Details of local warm spaces available can be found by visiting www.dosomethinggood.org.uk/community-support-search and scrolling down the ‘filter by category’ menu to the ‘warm space’ section.

If your organisation offers a suitable space where residents can stay warm for free this winter (anything from a coffee morning to a keep fit session, and everything in between), you can add it to the Do Something Good database.

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