More than 20 venues across the East Suffolk area are now offering people a warm, safe space to socialise over the winter as they struggle to meet their heating bills.

East Suffolk Council has launched its Warm Welcomes scheme, with more than 20 village halls, churches and community hubs providing a warm space and an opportunity for people to have a chat other members of their community.

Most of the venues are in the Lowestoft area, but the scheme is also being run in the Beccles, Bungay, Southwold, Halesworth, Woodbridge and Felixstowe areas.

READ MORE: Warm winter scheme launched

Last winter the council launched a Warm Rooms drive, and it has been rebranded for this seasonal period.

Earlier this year, community groups interested in joining the Warm Welcomes programme were encouraged to apply for grant funding.

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Venues had to be open for at least eight hours per week and the funding could be used as a contribution towards energy costs, refreshments, food, activities and the purchase or hire of resources such as craft materials. 

Sarah Whitelock, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for communities, leisure and tourism, said: “Warm Welcomes provide people of all ages with a safe space to visit to meet others from their community, take part in activities and find out more about other types of support available in their local area.”

The list of venues is:

Pakefield Church

Bloodmoor Hill Community Centre, Carlton Colville

DANES- 161 Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft

Gunton Community Hall - Hollingsworth Road, Lowestoft

St Andrews Church - Roman Road, Lowestoft

St Peter and St John's Church - Kirkley Church Hall, St Peter's Road, Lowestoft

Seagull Theatre - Morton Road, Lowestoft

Somerleyton Village Hall - The Street, Somerleyton

Lound Village Hall - Church Lane, Lound

Re-Utilise - 209 Whapload Road, Lowestoft

Lowestoft Over 60s Centre - 8 Clapham Road South, Lowestoft

Oulton Community Centre - Meadow Road, Oulton

Levington and Stratton Hall Parish Council - 2 Bridge Road, Levington

Pushchair Pitstop - St Edmunds Church, Langer Road, Felixstowe

ROPETH - The Angela Cobbold Hall, Little Bealings

Jetty Lane - The Avenue, Woodbridge

Halesworth Day Centre - London Road, Halesworth

Huntingfield Village Hall - Brick Kiln Lane, Huntingfield

Bungay Community Library - Wharton Street, Bungay

Bungay Community Support, 28 Wingfield Street, Bungay

Waveney Centre - New Market, Beccles

Fortrey Heap Village Hall - Conifer Close, North Cove

Southwold Library - The Old Hospital, Field Stile Road, Southwold

Kessingland Parish Council - Marram Green, Hall Road, Kessingland

For further information on the venues and times visit