Crabtree Farm Community Centre chair Maria Shakespeare and volunteers will be setting up a warm hub targeting children and the elderly.
On January 11, a warm hub at the community centre, on the Crabtree Farm Estate in Bulwell, opened from 4pm to 8pm. Maria said: “People can come in, have a cup of tea or something to eat and stay as long as they like. January is when I think the weather will usually get worse so January and February, a time where everyone is struggling after Christmas, is the right time for us to do this."
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Ahead of the opening, Maria said: “The majority of community centres and libraries are warm banks and I think that, once we do open, we will be busy and it’s for everyone but we’re targeting kids and the elderly.”
A range of meals will alternate at the Crabtree Farm warm space. Beans on toast, vegetable curries, jacket potatoes and soup and a roll will be rotationally available each week.
Maria added: “We’ve got a projector so we can put films on and games for the kids, we can set up crafts for the ladies. What’s the point in being there with nothing to do but keep warm?”
The community centre’s warm hub will run on the same day as the community cafe. Maria says that anyone can come anytime to the community centre to keep warm.
She said: “We’ve had people come to the food bank - where you don’t need to apply or anything like that to use it - wanting help because they can’t afford to get to Bestwood or Top Valley where they’ve been told to collect their vouchers. That’s the problem, if you have no bus fare how are you expected to get down there?
“Not everyone can get a lift." The community centre is now looking for sponsors and donations for their food bank. The funding ends in March.
Maria said: “If we’re not getting donations or extra funding, the food bank will die out and every year we have to start from scratch and start tackling, getting into contact with supermarkets. It starts to die down around September, that’s when things get quieter in terms of donations.”
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