'Warm space' opens in Olney community centre for the winter months

    A warm space for residents has opened at the Olney Centre, following funding from Milton Keynes City Council.

    "We are pleased to say that Room 1 at The Olney Centre will be available as a 'warm place' for residents during the winter months," A spokesperson for Olney Town Council said.

    "We recognise that the cost-of-living crisis will be impacting on many people within the town, and there may be times where a having a warm place to go may be of benefit in these challenging times."

    It comes as Milton Keynes City Council is giving funding to local parish council's to allow them to run pop-up cafes, games nights and other informal social activities for residents where they can also keep warm and enjoy a hot meal.

    £180,000 will be given to parish councils across the city to allow them to offer ‘warm places’ for residents during the winter months.

    Room 1 at The Olney Centre will be available Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, unless an existing booking for that room has already been made, when another area within the building will be made available.

    There are a number of comfortable chairs and tables in the room.

    Milton Keynes’ parish councils have been grouped according to levels of deprivation into the area, with parishes receiving anywhere between £500 up to £12,000 in the areas with the highest levels of poverty.

    Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for the cost-of-living crisis, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is already hitting families hard, and sadly the worst is yet to come.

    "We are committed to supporting people through the toughest financial crisis in a generation and working with parish councils to provide local community initiatives is one of the best ways to do that. There are plenty of great things being done by our local parishes already and I hope that this funding will boost this.” 

    Woughton Community Council is one of the parishes set to receive the highest amount of funding as it supports residents in some of the most deprived estates including Netherfield, Coffee Hall and Tinkers Bridge. 

    The parish council already hosts weekly cafes for people to get a free hot meal, alongside games nights and other initiatives.

    Woughton & Fishermead Labour Ward Councillor Donna Fuller, who is also Leader of Woughton Community Council, said: “This winter, people in my ward will be choosing between heating their homes and putting food on the table.

    "Activities like these will mean that some of the most vulnerable will save some much-needed funds while socialising in a safe environment, and I’m glad that we will now be able to extend this support to even more people this winter.”

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