Snow fell across Birmingham over the weekend, turning our city into a magical winter wonderland overnight. We woke with a smile on our faces and excitement for Christmas in our hearts. But while there are many reasons to be excited about a snowy Birmingham, it also left a bitter taste, as eight new warm banks opened in Birmingham too.
Snowball fights and strolls down the canals aside, the snow signals the bitterly cold winter we are heading into. And with the cost-of-living crisis on top, many of us are worried about how to heat our homes and stay warm this winter. To ease people’s fears, if only slightly, Birmingham City Council has created a network of Warm Welcome Spaces, also called ‘warm banks’, in Birmingham.
Working much like a food bank, people can visit these spaces to heat up during the winter. All locations provide free access to a heated, inclusive and non-judgmental space during the winter period and beyond. While many also offer information and support, free access to the internet and computers, as well as opportunities to participate in activities and connect with others within the community.
Where are the warm banks in Birmingham?
As of right now (December 12), there are over 50 locations registered as Warm Welcome Spaces with Birmingham City Council. Including museums like Soho House and Weoley Castle, churches and other places of worship, community centres, charity organisations and more.
Most are open to everyone, with a select few spaces aimed at supporting certain individuals, such as the elderly, women, young adults and more. To see all the Warm Welcome Spaces head here. You can also register your own space by joining the Warm Welcome Spaces network here.
Newly added Warm Welcome Spaces:
Beeches Pool and Fitness Centre, Perry Barr
Billesley Tennis and Fitness Centre, Billesley
Ladywood Leisure Centre, Ladywood
NAF (Northfield Arts Forum) Caf, Northfield
Northfield Leisure Centre, Northfield
Spitfire Advice and Support Service, Castle Vale
Stechford Leisure Centre, Stechford
Wyndley Leisure Centre, Sutton Coldfield