When Lancashire County Council announced its ‘Warm Hub’ initiative in October 2022, the aim was to create warm and welcoming spaces for Lancashire residents to access over the winter months. Ellel Parish Council was eager to be involved, and offered the Community Rooms as a place where local residents could spend some time in a warm, cosy environment, enjoying games, chat and music.
A fantastic group of community volunteers worked hard in the months preceding the December launch to transform the Community Rooms and create our local ‘hub’. And they continued to share their time every week, plus their not inconsiderable cooking skills, to provide a free lunch to all who attend – including laying on a Christmas Party!
Since launching, our Warm Space has regularly welcomed dozens of people each week and has become very popular with local residents of all ages. We have used grant funding from Lancashire County Council to provide equipment, refreshments and food, and visitors to the Warm Space have been very generous in their donations too.
The Lancashire County Council initiative has now sadly ended, however we intend to continue to open the Community Rooms on Fridays for lunch and company for as long as we can, and are currently setting up an exciting new proposition to run alongside. The Parish Council and its volunteers are pairing up with FareShare to start our ‘War On Waste’ (WOW) project.
Our volunteers will be collecting excess food from local retailers to offer to residents who are keen to reduce food waste and do their bit to decrease the vast quantities that go to landfill every year. Starting at the end of April we will be extending opening on Friday afternoons, and between 3.00pm and 5.00pm anybody who would benefit from the food items collected will be very welcome. We cannot guarantee what food will be provided, only that it will be shelved items (i.e. – not requiring refrigeration or freezing) and will be from excess stock, mislabelled products or items approaching their ‘best before’ date.
If you would like to support this project, please contact Ellel Parish Clerk, as all contributions in kind or time will be most welcome!
Author – Lisa Corkerry