Cost of living crisis: As people struggle with heating costs, the community is rallying around to provide places to keep warm – Angus Robertson
However, and putting aside the various reasons for this, it is heartening to see people and organisations pulling together to open up spaces for people in which they can come together, heat up and often share food and drinks.
In Edinburgh, a multitude of organisations are contributing to this effort. Dance Base, Scotland’s national centre for dance, is running “winter warmers” sessions. These free gatherings are open to anyone over the age of 60 to come along and take part in various activities including sing-alongs (of course with a few Christmas carols), dances and games. There will be tea, coffee and refreshments available. They say that absolutely no experience is required for those who wish to attend and that everyone is welcome in their Grassmarket space.
Edinburgh City Council has also launched a “warm and welcoming spaces” network. Many of the city’s libraries, community centres and museums will open their doors to all. An interactive map showing all the warm spaces, when they will be open and the activities on offer are available on the council’s website.
Many of Edinburgh’s faith communities are also providing spaces for people to gather out of the cold. The Church of Scotland’s website details locations and times when their churches will be open.
I extend my thanks to all organisations and volunteers taking part in these initiatives to help great numbers in Edinburgh.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary