A Warm Welcome awaits this winter at Essex Libraries

Cllr Louise McKinlay was at Chelmsford Library to launch the Warm Welcomes initiative

We have today (Wednesday 2 November) launched our new Warm Welcomes initiative for Essex Libraries.

Libraries across the county are open year-round for residents. However, Warm Welcomes will offer extra opportunities for residents to visit them in order to keep warm, get advice and information and stay connected with others this winter.

Additional support will include extra clubs and activities such as advice sessions, arts and crafts and a homework club. Find out what your local library is doing.

In addition to library staff helping facilitate activities and engaging with library users, ‘Warm Welcomes’ volunteers will be deployed across the county’s libraries. These volunteers will be on hand to offer advice and guidance to those in need, and run activities, clubs and events.

Find out more or apply to become a volunteer at the Volunteer Essex website.

ECC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “In these difficult times, our ‘Warm Welcomes’ launch is one of the many initiatives we are introducing to support residents through the cost-of-living crisis, particularly through the winter months.

“Our libraries are loved and used by communities across Essex, so it made sense to expand our offer in libraries to provide extra support to those that need it.

“Even though our library buildings will provide physical warmth, the additional support launching today as part of ‘Warm Welcomes’ will bring social benefits and emotional warmth to residents too, which is so important, particularly during these trying times.

“Whether it is popping in for a hot drink and a chat, coming in to use our free Wi-Fi in a quiet and warm environment, or wanting to make new friends or try something new, our hope is that there is something for everyone this winter at Essex libraries.”

Warm Welcomes forms part of our Cost of Living Support for Households and Communities plan, a £50m package of support announced last month.

It launches alongside other initiatives to support communities in the short term such as the Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund.

Residents are urged to find out more about the cost of living support on offer in Essex.