Massive and unexpected benefits generated by Warm Hubs now fully understood and documented in published evaluation report.
Over this last six months, Cambridgeshire ACRE has been supporting a community-led initiative to bring Warm Hubs into the heart of some of East and South Cambridgeshire’s rural communities. The publication of the project’s evaluation report gives extensive insight into the difference Warm Hubs have made whilst they have been operating in our communities this winter.
38 Warm Hubs have provided a warm and friendly welcome to all who have visited, offering free hot drinks, opportunities to socialise and a place to ask for help, if needed. Through evaluation, we know people have been largely attending Warm Hubs for companionship and to make social connections. However, loneliness is a complex issue and attendees have also been found to be experiencing poor health, with many having specific vulnerabilities such as disability or poor mental health.
As this initiative was essentially a ‘pilot’ to see how hubs might work locally, an evaluation framework was put in place to collect information from those attending the Warm Hubs and from the volunteers leading them. That data has now been written up into the “Warm Hubs in Winter Evaluation Report” and this report is now being shared as widely as possible so that the learning can be understood by commissioners, funders, stakeholders and anyone seeking to do similar work elsewhere. A summary version of the report is also available.
We hope you will enjoy reading the report as it tells a remarkable story of community engagement and the benefits of a hyper-local approach to improving people’s health and wellbeing. Please do feel free to share these links with colleagues who might be interested in the learning and outcomes to inform their own work.
The good news is that whilst Warm Hubs were initially set up for winter, locally-driven and voluntarily-organized community hubs are now set to continue. Through working with the Integrated Care System’s South Place Partnership members and with funding from Cambridgeshire County Council (Care Together Funding), Cambridgeshire ACRE will now be supporting those volunteers who wish to evolve their Warm Hubs into year-round Community Hubs to continue providing localized support in their neighbourhoods. This will not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach so project delivery will evolve with each community individually as they recognize their own communities’ future needs and keep the doors for their welcoming community hubs open to all.
If you would like to know more, please contact Alison Brown, Warm Hubs Project Manager.