Southampton City Council launches Warm Welcome Initiative for 2023

Warm Welcome returns to libraries across the city from Monday 6 November

A woman walking into Woolston Library

The initiative is made possible by council library teams, ‘Friends of Libraries’ volunteers and key community partners, and is designed to help relieve some of the stress and pressures caused by the national rising cost of living by providing warm, safe, spaces and activities in local libraries.

This winter, libraries will be running between 30-50 free activities each week across the city. Activities will vary from arts and crafts, reading and games clubs, to IT support sessions. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy a free hot drink and snack.

Homework Help returns for 2023, where volunteer tutors from Student Hub (Southampton Hub) will be available to help children with homework queries. These sessions will take place each Wednesday and Saturday from early November. Children can also print homework at city libraries up to the value of £1.50.

The Environment Centre (tEC) is running regular support sessions for residents. During the in-person, one-to-one appointment, a member of the Southampton Healthy Homes team can offer advice around reducing energy bills and accessing discounts or support schemes, heating and hot water systems, reducing damp and mould, and much more. Sessions are free but must be booked online.

Southampton City Council is also working with Citizens Advice Southampton to facilitate digital appointments in Central, Woolston and Shirley libraries with pre-bookable appointments for residents that require assistance and advice on a range of issues.

Jamie’s Computers will be recycling old IT equipment, making computers, laptops, and accessories available for people to buy at a reduced price.

Drop the Mask will also run regular IT support sessions that focus on getting value for money and avoiding scams.

Southampton City Council’s community partner SO:Linked is working to deliver four events across the city, including pop-up events designed to help people navigate the support available.

Information surrounding these events will be made available soon.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Deputy Leader of Southampton City Council said: “We know how worrying this time of year can be for everyone that is affected by this national crisis. Which is why I’m glad to see the return of the Warm Welcome offer. Events like these provide vital social contact for a lot of those that participate, with many who attended last winter’s sessions saying it helped to provide relief from loneliness. Tackling these issues locally is a priority for Southampton City Council and I’m grateful to the staff and volunteers working hard to make it possible. I encourage everyone to have a look at the events, activities, and the support available throughout the upcoming winter months.”

For more information visit the Warm Welcome Initiative.