“As a charity, we’re always thinking about how best we can use our space and any surplus food and what it is that members of the local community most need at any given time. Mindful that many people are struggling as a result of the recent hike in their household bills, we’ve recently launched our Warmwell at Westbank initiative.

Our team has worked incredibly hard to get this off the ground in a short space of time. With the smallest of budgets, a tired, former cafe at our base in Exminster has undergone a facelift - enabling us to open our doors to local people Monday to Friday (10 am to 4 pm) to provide a warm and welcoming space. 

Our former Seedlings Cafe has been transformed into a comfortable, cosy space with a lounge and dining area where people can drop in for something warm to eat and drink and socialise with others if they wish to. As well as hot drinks, you can help yourself to a free bowl of nourishing soup and stock up on complimentary produce from the food larder and community fridge. It means that any surplus food from Fareshare each week is made available for local people to use.

There’s also an information hub to support those who are worried about the cost of turning on their heating this winter or using electricity-hungry appliances. From time to time, we’re arranging for partner agencies to be on hand to provide further guidance on issues like managing your finances, keeping warm, eating healthily and staying well. 

Warmwell at Westbank is staffed by our amazing volunteers. Anyone, including members of the Westbank team, is welcome to pop in for as long or as little as they like and we’re grateful to everyone who’s had a hand in making this somewhere people will be comfortable spending time. 

For those with a specific worry, rest assured, there’s invariably somebody in the building who can help. That’s the beauty of Westbank, we build ongoing relationships and can signpost people to other useful services.

None of us knows how long this cost of living crisis will go on and for many of us, it’s a real worry, regardless of whether you’re employed, unemployed or retired. We’re all in the same boat.

Two twentysomething mums came to Warmwell recently who have five children between them, including a newborn. One was facing a two hundred pound a month increase in her monthly mortgage payments, and the other was on maternity leave and was worried about turning on the heating, even with her husband working full-time. Neither of these young women had ever sought help before and both were embarrassed about needing to do so. Another of our regular visitors, a pensioner who lives on her own, brings along her knitting every week and looks forward to the opportunity to socialise with people.

Whatever your situation is, help is on offer - charities like ours exist to do just that. Please, help us to spread the word so that people know we’re here and available for everyone.”

If you would like to find out more about Warmwell or would consider supporting our charity through volunteering or by making a donation or legacy, please have a further look around our website. 

Article from The Moorlander newspaper