Photo by Dawud Marsh

Local warm hubs for people feeling the cold as Arctic weather moves in

As temperatures drop and people face rising heating bills amid the cost-of-living crisis, we find local warm banks and hubs opening up their spaces to help us stay warm.

Following a level three weather alert, Tower Hamlets Council is welcoming anyone seeking a reprise from the bitter cold into their Idea Stores in Bow, Whitechapel and Chrisp Street for a hot mug of tea.

This comes amid a cost-of-living crisis with more of us struggling to afford rent and scores out on the street, and the homeless most at risk from the winter bite.

Warm hubs are safe spaces nationwide where people can come in to chat, relax and get advice. One such is Idea Store Bow, open from Monday to Thursday from 11am-5pm, 11am till 4pm on Saturday and 12pm to 2pm on Sunday.

But Idea Stores across the borough are open for limited hours, meaning many still lack access. Other local spaces acting as warm hubs include Hearth Bakery‘s People’s Oven, Hackney Wick’s first communal oven addressing the cost of living crisis by inviting members of the community to use its kitchen.

Tower Hamlets previously closed its Idea Stores cafes, where elderly people used to enjoy free cups of tea, but you can pop into St. Paul Old Ford church, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and 10am till 5pm on weekends, to use their space.

Roman Road Market will soon host a cost-of-living bus where East Enders can hop aboard for a pressure-free chat about their finances, including free debt and benefits advice on Tuesday 13 December from 10am-4pm.

Earlier this year, Tower Hamlets council launched an advice service, with hubs at Idea Store Whitechapel and Mulberry Place, to help those in need after a staggering 3.2 million households were found to be facing financial crises, according to Citizens Advice.

The Bromley by Bow Centre has also launched a warm hub in the church hall and other public areas, open from 9am-5pm on weekdays. The hub will open additional hours on certain evenings and weekends until May next year.

If you are concerned about the welfare of an elderly person, or someone you care about, please contact Tower Hamlets Connect at 03003036070.

Idea Store, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road, Bow, London E3 5ES

Hearth Bakery, Unit 30, 86B Wallis Rd

St Paul’s Old Ford, St Stephen’s Rd, Bow, London E3 5JL

Bromley By Bow Centre, St Leonard’s St, London E3 3BS

For more content like this, see our articles about the cost of living crisis.

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