Martin Lewis: New guide to setting up a 'warm space' – somewhere for people to come in from the cold

Today, I'm pleased to say the new free guidelines 'A warm welcome: Setting up a warm space in your community' has been published by CILIP, the library and information association. It's jam-packed full of useful information for councils, libraries, public buildings and others who want to open a warm space this winter. Below is my introductory foreword, which explains my connection, but better, download the PDF.

"In early July 2022, while the sun was blazing, I was sitting at my desk, doing some numbers, starting to feel overcome with a sense of dread about the coming winter. It looked like the price cap rates for energy, which most of us pay, would be nearly doubling, leaving possibly 100,000s with the now almost-clichéd choice between heating and eating.

"While mulling, I tweeted this...

"I wasn't the only one thinking it. I was both saddened and gladdened to quickly hear from a few councils and libraries already planning to do just that, as well as many organisations who wanted to help, but were asking how to do it.

"This guide is the culmination of that. I asked CILIP to research and collate best practice information, on how to do it, and I am delighted that they accepted the commission. It's not just for libraries, it's for any organisation wanting to set up a warm space (the name has rightly changed too, a warm space is a far more approachable place than a warm bank). I do hope you find it useful. You can find it on CILIP's website.

"Of course, warm spaces are far from a panacea, not everyone will be able to get to warm spaces, not everyone will want to, and people will still need to heat their homes sometimes. Yet I think they will turn out to be crucial extra help to get a decent number of vulnerable people through the winter.

"And while we now have the energy price guarantee, which has thankfully substantially limited the energy price rises this coming winter, on average, rates are still roughly double those of last winter. So help is still very much needed."

I hope you find the guide useful, and do let me know below if you plan on setting up a warm space or plan on going to one this winter.