Come in from the cold

Libraries across B&NES are offering a warm welcome to residents struggling with rising energy costs this winter.

As well as offering a warm space where you can access free Wi-Fi, browse books and download eMagazines and eAudiobooks, the council’s libraries can provide information on how to save energy at home and signpost people to partner services offering advice and information on money matters, benefits, jobs, wellbeing services and food support.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, and Communities, said: “We welcome anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills this winter to visit our libraries, keep warm and use the wonderful facilities. Our library team can provide a wealth of useful tips on saving energy together with information on support services offered by our partners. Across Bath and North East Somerset, there are currently seventeen warm spaces opening their doors to people struggling with their heating bills this winter, and we hope more will come forward as the temperature drops. You can find a map of where they are on our Livewellwebsite.”

People with sensory needs can now also benefit from a dedicated sensory space which has been created at Bath Central Library. It’s been fitted out with sensory lighting and toys, a giant beanbag, comfy rug and cushions and a black out tent. Sessions are free and bookable on Eventbrite with the bookings available for one household per session.

Councillor Romero added: “A sensory space can be useful for everyone but particularly to those with developmental disabilities, PTSD, and people who have difficulty dealing with sensory issues like harsh, bright lights and loud noises. Our library staff have done a fantastic job creating this wonderful new chilled-out space for people to relax and decompress.”

For a full list and map of registered warm spaces available across Bath and North East Somerset this winter, visit our Livewell website.

If you are struggling with the rising cost of living the council and its partners are providing support through the Community Wellbeing Hub on 0300 247 0050. You can also find detailed information on cost-of-living support on our dedicated website.