A ‘MOBILE warm hub’ aims to drive away loneliness in Warwickshire’s rural communities.
Gas network Cadent and The Warwickshire Rural Community Council charity (WRCC) have launched the mobile hub – a converted minibus – which will offer a friendly space for people in isolated villages to meet and connect with their neighbours over a brew.
Cadent has funded the refurbishment of the minibus, as well as activities. WRCC, which aims to tackle disadvantage and support resilience in rural Warwickshire, will be running the service supported by the local volunteer driver charity VASA.
To comply with social distancing regulations the bus includes outdoor seating, with the inside converted to offer seating for eight people with wheelchair access for use when restrictions lift.
Kim Slater, WRCC CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be launching our new Warwickshire Mobile Warm Hub service, in partnership with VASA, and supported by Cadent. Our converted community minibus will help us tackle social isolation and loneliness by visiting villages around rural Warwickshire, including those areas where there are no existing facilities or places for people to meet.
“By providing a safe, welcoming space for people to meet up over a free cup of coffee, and by working closely with other community service providers, we can help to make a real difference to the wellbeing of Warwickshire and Solihull residents as we gradually come out of lockdown.”
Malcom Dewsbury is a volunteer driver for WRCC and will be one of the volunteers driving the Mobile Warm Hub to rural communities is Warwickshire and Solihull.
He said: “Through my volunteering work I have found that some folk need the comfort of somebody to speak to, some have no visitors from week to week and live very lonely lives. It is always nice to leave them with a smile on their faces. The Mobile Warm Hub idea is the perfect opportunity to bring the community together and relieve loneliness.”
Visit www.wrccrural.org.uk/services/halls/warm-hubs for information.