Uncertainty ends for Peterborough's warm hubs with thousands extra funding

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The hubs’ first round of funding will run out in March, but a second is on its way

Peterborough’s warm hubs have been granted thousands of pounds of extra funding, meaning they can continue to provide respite to residents for at least another year.

A Peterborough City Council (PCC) spokesperson confirmed that each of the city's council-backed hubs will receive £8,000 after initial uncertainty over whether more money was on the way.

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The hubs, which are typically held in churches, mosques and community centres, were first awarded funding that came from the council via the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Household Support Fund last year.

Inside St Mark's Church warm hub in Peterborough which will be among those benefitting from new fundingInside St Mark's Church warm hub in Peterborough which will be among those benefitting from new funding
Inside St Mark's Church warm hub in Peterborough which will be among those benefitting from new funding

But there were concerns that when this funding comes to an end in March, the hubs would be left without council support.

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It has now been announced, however, that each will benefit from Contain Outbreak Management Fund money which comes to local authorities from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

All of those that received the DWP funding applied for the DHSC funding, except one - CSK Hampton.

Peterborough's warm hubs will each receive £8,000 extra cashPeterborough's warm hubs will each receive £8,000 extra cash
Peterborough's warm hubs will each receive £8,000 extra cash

The church-based warm hub has been contacted for comment.

This new funding will see the hubs through to March 2024.

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Covid and flu engagement to be held at hubs

The only difference in practice is that these new funds are dependent on the hubs carrying out Covid and flu engagement.

What else the hubs provide varies, but includes hot food, food parcels, social activities, advice on accessing other services and entertainment including live music.

Most welcome anyone, but some cater to more specific groups such as families and homeless people.

Most, also, were in operation before receiving funding from the council and have used the extra cash to maintain or expand their services.

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PCC also provides ‘community connectors’ who point warm hub visitors to other sources of support.

Visitors to the hubs say they get a range of other benefits, too.

At St Mark’s Church Hub, attendees said they had made new friends and enjoyed the opportunity to have conversations with people who understood their circumstances.

They also appreciated the offer of hot food at a time when food bills also remain high.

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Shirley Nutt, 88, from Dogsthorpe, said she’s “made some nice friends” at the hub and also finds herself eating better than when she’s on her own.

Hubs are ‘like a big family’

Benny Williams, who is homeless, said: “It’s basically like a big family and a big community together.

“It’s really welcoming and it does help people in my situation.

“You get a bit of company and food and they direct you in the right way.”

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PCC has urged residents to keep an eye on support available from the hubs.

A spokesperson said: “We have secured top-up funding to ensure that many of the winter hubs will continue to operate in some form until March 2024.

“We would urge residents to visit www.peterborough.gov.uk for updated information about the hubs including opening times and services offered.”

Current information on where the hubs can be found can be accessed here.

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