As temperatures fall and energy prices rise, councils and voluntary groups are opening warm banks to keep communities safe this winter.
Save the Children estimates that almost four million children risk going cold this winter – with many families struggling more than ever before and having to choose between heating and eating.
So-called warm banks are opening up across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland and islands in response to the cost-of-living crisis.
These warm spaces will typically be in council buildings, such as libraries, or community centres and churches.
Some are offering hot drinks and refreshments, while others may offer some activities or just a space for people to stay warm and chat – potentially helping to tackle the social isolation felt by many during winter too.
It is hoped these hubs will allow people to warm up while saving on energy bills.
Find your nearest warm bank here:
Supermarkets acting as warm banks this winter
Many supermarkets are also offering a free, or cheap, hot meal this winter. Morrisons has launched its Ask for Henry scheme – providing a free baked potato with Heinz Beanz – while Asda has launched a £1 “winter warmer” meal deal including soup, a roll and unlimited tea or coffee for over-60s.
If you or your organisation is running a warm space or hub this winter, please contact email@example.com with the relevant information and we will add it to our map.
The Press and Journal and Evening Express are working hard to make sure people in our communities know where they can get help.
Food banks near you and other organisations can also provide help
As the cost-of-living crisis continues, the Big Food Appeal offers information on where the closest foodbank and community pantries are and how people can access emergency food when they need to.
There are many groups across Grampian and the Highland ready to help – we want you to know where to turn.
Initiatives across the north and north-east helping communities struggling with rising energy bills: