South Lanarkshire residents who are struggling with the cost of living can find a “warm welcome” across the area.
Every part of the area has been covered, with 102 places offering a warm place for locals to receive support and activities that can be accessed in the coming winter months.
The new scheme is the latest in an extensive programme from the council to help local residents cope with the rising costs.
Warm Welcome locations include libraries, leisure facilities and other community venues run by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture which have been funded by the council to provide free lets to organisations that open their doors to the public.
A number of volunteer and community groups have also come forward to join the scheme, many of which will be funded by a share of £40,000 the council has made available in grants to help those participating meet additional costs.
Council Leader Joe Fagan said: “It is clear that this winter is going to be very tough for very large numbers of people, with huge increases in fuel and food bills.
"The council, with our partners at SLLC, is committed to doing everything we possibly can to help.
“Just having somewhere to go, where not just the temperature but the whole welcome will be warm, will make a real difference to so many people in the difficult weeks ahead.
"A cup of tea, or a bowl of soup, some financial advice to those who need it – all of this will help our most vulnerable residents.
“We are launching the Warm Welcome initiative with more than 50 venues already in place, but we expect that number to grow markedly as we welcome community partners to the scheme.
"We are working particularly hard to make sure there are no ‘cold spots’ and every part of our area has a range of warm welcomes available.”
Residents can find local venues by using the council’s new interactive map and postcode checker.
As well as showing where a Warm Welcome will be offered, the website will show who is running the venue, the opening hours or whether booking is required and information on what activities and facilities are available.
Community groups who wish to apply for a grant to help them join the warm welcome initiative can do so on the council website.
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