Cost of living: 'We started up a warm bank' – BBC

As energy prices rise along with the cost of living, an increasing number of so-called warm banks have been popping up around the UK.
These warm spaces are usually in a heated building, which members of the public can use to help them save on their home energy bills. Here are some of the stories from people involved.
Fiona Tobin is secretary of a community association in Sunderland which has been granted funding for a warm space in a community centre,
She took both her children to the community centre when they were toddlers and is glad to be helping to organise volunteers so people can have what she calls a "dignified space to meet and stay warm".
"We want people to feel valued. Just because they're struggling doesn't mean they haven't got a lot to offer as well as needing help right now," she says.
The centre has seen more visitors than usual, and some are worried about managing on low pay and how to make their benefits payments go further, she adds.
Along with book swaps, games and chats, Fiona is keen to start a choir and baby groups "so people have a reason to come along, as well as the centre being a warm welcoming space".
Fiona herself is also enjoying the benefits of karate at the centre. "I've just started at the age of 40 and love joining in with my kids."
Jeanette Snook is vice-chair of Mosterton village hall committee in Beaminster, Dorset. She and an ever-expanding team of volunteers, including her friend Wendy, have opened up a warm space in the hall.
"Anyone can come and have homemade soup and a roll. They can stay as long as they want to keep warm and it helps them to feel less isolated or lonely," she says.
Around 30 locals have got on board, preparing food for what they call Souper Thursday. "People who don't usually come to the hall are actually volunteering to come and help," she says.
She says it's a wide range of people who turn up, from young parents with kids to the elderly, including many people who live on their own.
"Ideally we shouldn't have to resort to offering warm spaces for people," she says, but adds that "it's an opportunity for them to come together and chat. It also gives people a break".
Ruth Forsythe helped set up a warm space at a wellbeing centre in Langside Church in Glasgow, after deciding she wanted to do something big to help people struggling this winter.
"We are a wellbeing project that is already open to people every day, with a programme of activities," she says, but they carried out a survey and found more than 50 people the area who said they would be interested in using a warm space for at least a couple of hours during the day.
Their first warm space day was on Tuesday and they hope to stay open all week for those who can't afford to heat their homes while they're working too.
"People working from home on can come here. We have chargers, desks and chairs. We're getting sofas and will provide newspapers, along with tea and coffee."
Have you set up a warm bank in your area? Do you make use of one to stay warm? Share your experiences by emailing
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