200th warm bank opens in Birmingham at a Stirchley community hub

Birmingham City Council has announced it has opened its 200th warm bank - also known as Warm Welcome space - in Stirchley

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Birmingham’s network of Warm Banks - also called Warm Welcomes - has now expanded to more than 200 spaces across the city.

The scheme was launched last October with the 200th Warm Bank opening yesterday (Thursday, April 27) by the city council alongside community, faith and third sector spaces.

The 200th space to register was Dads Lane Community Association, in Pineapple Road, Stirchley. The venue has recently been fully refurbished to provide a large community space, social café and kitchen. It is currently open Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

A city council spokesperson stressed these warm spaces will still provide vital help to people in need throughout the summer months when the weather gets warmer as the cost of living crisis continues.

What Dads Lane Community Association in Stirchley said about becoming a Warm Bank

Steve Squires, development worker at Dads Lane Community Association, said: “We have been part of the Pineapple Estate community on the Stirchley/Kings Heath border for well over 50 years, so we are delighted to open as the city’s 200th Warm Welcome three days a week.

“We offer tea, coffee and biscuits on a pay-as-you-feel basis as well as friendly chat, if people want.

“Our popular community space has recently undergone a major renovation, thanks to hard work by local volunteers and tradespeople, and funding from National Lottery, Heart of England Community Foundation and National Grid, so we are glad to be able to open our doors again to the local community – everyone is welcome.”

More people are using warm banks/ welcome spaces in Birmingham as they struggle to keep up with rising costsMore people are using warm banks/ welcome spaces in Birmingham as they struggle to keep up with rising costs
More people are using warm banks/ welcome spaces in Birmingham as they struggle to keep up with rising costs

What the Birmingham City Council Warm Bank lead said about the latest Warm Welcome space in his own words

Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities, said: "Since Warm Welcomes were launched last year, it’s been fantastic to see the network continue to grow across the city.

“By working with our partners in community, faith and voluntary sectors, we’ve seen a wide range of spaces sign up to offer Warm Welcomes and the positive impact they are having in their local communities.

“Many organisations and groups offer this support all year round, but the tightening grip the cost of living has on so many of our citizens mean these places are needed more than ever. This network aims to provide community – whether that’s having someone to talk to or listen to your situation – wherever they are in our city.”

How can I find a Warm Bank/ Warm Welcome space near me?

Anyone interested in volunteering within any of the Warm Welcomes can find details of opportunities on the Big Help Out website, which aims to see citizens spend some time volunteering on Monday 8 May, as part of the King’s Coronation weekend. To find out more details visit the Big Help Out website, by clicking here.