Public fairs planned for North Somerset

Public lounges are safe, welcoming and non-judgmental spaces for people to come together to stay warm and perhaps enjoy a hot drink and a cookie. These places will also contain information to help people who may wish to learn more about the support available to deal with the cost of living crisis.

Types of venues that might be suitable for hosting public lounges include community buildings, sports venues, places of worship, libraries, and any organization that wants to make a space available to people.

Cllr Mike Bell, deputy leader of North Somerset Council and chair of the North Somerset Cost of Living Task Force, said: ‘We are a council that cares about people and solving the cost of living crisis is the top priority of every member of the Board Executive. No one should be cold this winter. We already know some of our residents are worried about having to choose between heating and eating, so to help you we want to create a network of places across North Somerset where people can warm up.

“Our aim is to create a directory of all the places available to our residents in the public, private, health and voluntary sectors and to ensure that this information is clearly promoted so that anyone who is cold knows where they are. can go warm up, stay warm and enjoy some company and some hot refreshments.

To help set up or maintain public lounges, grants of up to £1,000 will be available for organizations in North Somerset. The grants are funded by North Somerset Council, supported by Alliance Homes, grant funding.

Applications will be accepted from North Somerset agencies and community organizations providing services to people in North Somerset. More information about the scheme and the grant application process can be found on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/col.

The North Somerset Together Network will promote the directory of public lounges as they begin to be established in the hope that more venues will become available as word of the initiative spreads across North Somerset.

Cllr Bell added: ‘Our ambition is that every community in North Somerset that needs a public lounge will have at least one that their local residents can use to stay warm and healthy.

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