King Charles is opening his grand estate in Ayrshire for the community to use as a warm space amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Dumfries House, in Cumnock, is one of two Scottish properties being used as part of the Winter Warmers project - an initiative, run by His Majesty’s charity The Prince’s Foundation - which will offer people free hot drinks, biscuits and a social space for activities and developing friendships.
The Queen Mother’s former home, the Castle of Mey in Caithness, and Highgrove Gardens in Gloucestershire, are the other participating properties which will offer a warm convivial space in a bid to combat loneliness or isolation.
At Dumfries House, the Winter Warmers sessions will be held in The Hayloft at The Coach House Café on Wednesday’s, starting from February, Wednesday 8.
Guests will be welcomed for tea, coffee and biscuits between 10am to 12noon.
They are encouraged to bring their knitting, a book, game or crafts to utilise the time and space for hobbies and interacting with others.
Emily Cherrington, executive director of The Prince’s Foundation, said: “Since establishing The Prince’s Foundation’s Integrated Health and Wellbeing Programme in May 2016, we have run many initiatives to help strengthen communities.
“At a particularly hard time for many, we felt we had the capacity in the quieter winter months to utilise our spaces to benefit those in the surrounding communities, many of whom perhaps cannot afford to heat their homes or whom may not have the opportunity for social interaction.
“We hope that, by offering a space for people at these three communities across the UK to meet for a cup of tea and some enjoyable activities, we can play a small part in ensuring our guests benefit from some warmth and friendship each week.”
The Winter Warmers initiative runs in line with The Prince’s Foundation’s mission to build communities and help reduce the effects of social isolation.
New Cumnock Town Hall, near Dumfries House and managed by The Prince’s Foundation since a multi-million-pound renovation six years ago, has been made available free of charge by the charity for a local ‘warm hub’ group that runs fortnightly.
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