Hundreds use warm spaces in South Tyneside - here's how you can help as winter and cost-of-living crisis bite

More than 200 people used hubs set up to help people keep warm in South Tyneside in the last two months – and organisers are calling for more volunteers and donations to help those in need stay warm and safe during the cost-of-living crisis.

Businesses, the public sector and voluntary organisations are being asked to give what they can to help make Warm Spaces in the borough even more welcoming for residents.

The donations could include financial help or items such as toiletries, board games, books, music, magazines and food and drink.

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More volunteers are also needed to help welcome residents and provide advice, guidance or a listening ear.

Warm Spaces centres are looking for support to help others.Warm Spaces centres are looking for support to help others.
Warm Spaces centres are looking for support to help others.

It is hoped some of the money from the Warm Spaces Fund, which is being administered by Inspire South Tyneside working with South Tyneside Council, could go to Warm Spaces which are keeping their doors open over the Christmas period.

Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector Partnerships and Equalities, said: “South Tyneside is an area where there is a strong sense of community and partnership and the Warm Spaces Fund seeks to build on that.

“There are many businesses across the borough which know the value of supporting their local community so we hope they will come on board and support this initiative.”

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Any organisations wishing to donate to the fund should contact Inspire South Tyneside at [email protected] or contact the council at [email protected]

Cllr Berkley said more than 200 people, most of them over the age of 65, visited Warm Spaces in October and November but this figure will almost certainly rise in coming months.

She said older adults are more exposed to the rising costs of energy as they tend to live in larger and less energy efficient homes.

Many of those attending Warm Spaces are recurring visitors with most appreciating the company and activities on offer which helps take their mind off their worries.

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Demand for services is expected to rise still further in January 2023 due to the continuing impact of the cost of living crisis and Christmas-related financial pressures.

January is always a difficult time, but the gloomy economic times are set to make it a particularly difficult month.

Councillor Berkley added: “Our Warm Spaces are clearly fulfilling a practical need in keeping people warm but they are also playing an additional role in providing companionship and easing loneliness, especially for our older residents.

“This is perhaps a poignant reminder at this time of year to check on our neighbours to make sure they are alright.”

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Many Warm Spaces will continue to operate throughout the festive period. A full list of those open can be found by visiting

A brochure highlighting all the Warm Spaces has now been published and is available from council buildings, community buildings and associations, GPs surgeries, Warm Spaces and support organisations such as Citizens’ Advice, Age Concern and food banks.

To find out more about Warm Spaces and to see what support is available to help with the cost of living, visit

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