Cost of Living Support
The cost of living increases this winter are worrying for many people. There are a number of initiatives offering people support across the borough.
You can find information on how Epsom & Ewell are supporting residents during this time on our website: Cost of living support in Epsom & Ewell
There is now a network of Warm Hubs available across Surrey for residents to pop-in, get warm and meet others with an opportunity to get free energy saving advice too. Locations and opening times of Warm Hubs across the county can be found here: surreycc.gov.uk/warmhubs
If you are worrying about money, take a look at this leaflet: Leaflet: Worrying About Money? (this is a link to download a PDF file).
We talked to Robert Hill, one of the people behind 'Warm Wednesdays' at Epsom Methodist Church, an initiative offering warmth, food and hot drinks and entertainment to people for free this winter.
How long have you lived in the Epsom & Ewell area?
I came to live in Epsom in 1978. We loved living and bringing up our family in the town - we witnessed the building of the Ashley Centre, the Playhouse, the Rainbow Centre and the Odeon - facilities that we take for granted now. For eight years I served as a borough councillor for Court Ward. In 2019 I moved to Leatherhead to make it easier to visit and spend time with my wife, Beth, who had a rare form of an early onset dementia and needed residential care. However, much of my life still revolves around Epsom.
How did you come up with the idea for Warm Wednesdays?
I began thinking about Warm Spaces when I heard Martin Lewis, the money advice expert, talking about the difficulties that many people are going to face this winter keeping warm and paying their energy bills, especially as food costs as well heating costs are rising fast. At the same time the national media was reporting on the idea of creating warm spaces where people could go to keep warm. I talked with some friends and our Minister about the idea of Epsom Methodist Church offering a warm space and they encouraged me to explore the idea. As a town centre church we see it as part of our mission to open up our premises and enable the community to use our facilities. The concept of Warm Wednesdays took off from that point!
Could you tell us more about what you're aiming to achieve with Warm Wednesdays?
We're aiming to:
- Create a Warm Wednesdays programme where one day a week people can come and stay as long as they like between 9am and 6pm and enjoy our hospitality throughout the day. In the morning there will be free hot drinks, free soup and a buttered roll at lunch time and an after-school club for families (including a teatime hot meal).
- Create a band of volunteers to deliver the service we are offering.
- Liaise with other churches in the borough and with Surrey County Council with the aim of creating a network of warm places that people can go to across the week.
Whether you want to drop in, book a teatime meal for the family or offer to help here are more details about Warm Wednesdays at Epsom Methodist Church on our website: Epsom Methodist Church/Warm Wednesdays