New warm hubs open up to provide welcoming place for young people in Sandwell
Young people across Sandwell are set to be able access warm places throughout the winter months under a new council scheme.
Sandwell Council’s Youth Service has launched a number of warm hubs for young people, meaning that young people aged 11 to 19 and up to 25 with additional needs can access the warm hubs at their local youth provision, during normal opening times.
The warm hubs will be safe and welcoming spaces, accessible and open regularly and run by qualified and experienced youth workers and volunteers. Depending on facilities at each hub, young people will be able to get a hot drink, a snack or even be able to rustle up a hot meal.
The warm hubs will provide opportunities to take part in positive activities, the chance to make new friends and advice and support from youth workers with referrals to more specialist services if required.
Councillor Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and education, helped serve young people hot drinks at the launch of the warm hubs.
He said: “Young people are always given a warm welcome at any of our youth sessions and I am pleased they will now be offered a warm drink and a snack each time they visit.
"Where facilities allow, they will be able to learn to cook and share meals.
“It’s great to see young people gaining food hygiene knowledge and qualifications as well as helping staff to serve hot drinks.
"The qualifications and experience will also serve the young people well when they are looking for work and future opportunities.
“The ongoing cost of living emergency is placing huge financial pressures on families in Sandwell, so warm hubs for young people provide a place to visit where they can be safe and warm.
“Young people are very aware of the challenges affecting our communities and have come up with this initiative to support others.”
Warm hubs will be available at Brickhouse Community Centre in Rowley Regis, from Monday to Wednesday, between 6pm and 8pm; Coneygre Arts Centre in Tipton, from Monday to Thursday, between 5pm to 8pm; Tanhouse Youth Club, on Tuesday and Thursday, between 6pm and 8pm, and Wednesbury Youth Club, on Monday and Wednesday, between 6pm and 8pm.
More sites for young people are expected to be added in the new year, and staff and young people have all undertaken a level 2 qualification in food and hygiene at each hub.
The Youth Service is calling on local businesses who would like to adopt a warm hub and support them with regular supplies, to get in touch, helping us to provide this offer year-round to young people.
For further information on warm hubs or the youth offer in Sandwell, go to justyouth.org.uk/warmhubs
Welcoming spaces are available for people of all ages in Sandwell libraries and other community venues, with more information at sandwell.gov.uk/welcomingspaces