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Press release26 February 2024

Donation from the Rothesay Foundation boosts Clarion’s warm spaces programme

Phil Miles (Director of Clarion Futures) and Matt Parsonage (Head of Communities at Clarion Futures) with a box representing one of the warm packs being provided thanks to the funding from the Rothesay Foundation.

Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, has partnered with the Rothesay Foundation, the charitable foundation of leading UK pensions insurer Rothesay, to expand its warm spaces programme.

The Rothesay Foundation has donated over £315,000 to the warm spaces programme as part of its mission to help secure and improve the quality of life for older people in need in the UK.

Clarion Futures is working with community organisations across the country to offer warm spaces for older residents experiencing hardship and social isolation. This will include a number of warm spaces within Clarion’s LiveSmart schemes which provide supported housing for people aged 55 and over, as well as within Clarion’s network of community centres.

Thanks to the new partnership and additional funding provided by the Rothesay Foundation, Clarion Futures will be able to double the number of warm spaces supported through the second year of the programme taking the total to 50 across England.

The funding will also enable warm packs to be distributed to those visiting the warm spaces. Worth more than £100 each, the warm packs include items such as an electric blanket, slow cooker, draught excluder, room thermometer and heating timer, as well as warm clothes like hats, gloves and socks. This will ensure that the support provided reaches beyond the warm spaces themselves, helping people to stay warm at home which is becoming a widespread challenge due to the cost of living crisis.

In addition, each warm space will be able to offer those coming through the door access to online cooking demonstrations delivered by Clarion Futures’ partners Cracking Good Food and UK Harvest, helping people to prepare healthy and nutritious meals on a budget. Partners will also be encouraged to invite local agencies to attend sessions to provide expert advice and guidance, and those attending warm spaces will also be able to access the wide-ranging support available through Clarion Futures.

The new partnership with the Rothesay Foundation builds on the success of the warm spaces programme launched by Clarion Futures in November 2022. More than 5,500 people visited these warm spaces nationwide in the programme’s first year, with partners signposting to sources of advice and support on issues such as housing, health, education, money management, digital skills and access to foodbanks.

One of the warm spaces supported by Clarion Futures and the Rothesay Foundation this year is run by the Holloway Neighbourhood Group in Islington, North London.

Open each Wednesday from 12:30-3:30pm, the warm space provides a welcoming place for local people to come together and enjoy a bowl of homemade soup, as well as access to a wealth of support and advice.

Organisers will also be distributing warm packs to local residents thanks to the funding received.

Phil Miles, Director of Clarion Futures, said:

“Working with our fantastic network of partners in Clarion communities nationwide we’re proud of the difference we’ve been able to make through our warm spaces programme.

“Thanks to the support of the Rothesay Foundation, this year we’ll be able to support more people in need, opening the doors to double the number of warm spaces to provide opportunities to tackle loneliness and isolation, take part in activities and keep warm. The icing on the cake is the warm packs we’ll be able to provide, making sure that our support stretches beyond the doors of our community centres and into people’s homes.”

James Dickson, Chair of Trustees at the Rothesay Foundation, said:

“We are pleased to partner with Clarion Futures to fund the expansion of its vitally important warm spaces programme. The Rothesay Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people living in need in the UK, a huge challenge during a cost-of-living crisis which is leaving many struggling to afford their energy bills. Through supporting warm packs and a growing number of warm spaces, we hope to help as many older people as possible to stay warm this year while also providing safe and welcoming spaces where they can connect with their local community.”

Eira Gibson, Chief Executive of the Holloway Neighbourhood Group, said:

“It’s hard to put into words how critical something so seemingly simple can be – you need to step into the space to feel the warmth not only from the space and the soup but the people, connecting and sharing in normal everyday challenges. We’re so grateful for the support of Clarion Futures and the Rothesay Foundation – without them this just wouldn’t be possible.”

More information

Find out more about warm spaces supported by Clarion Futures and the Rothesay Foundation.