Warm Welcome programme hailed a success at Community Centre

Warm Welcome programme hailed a success at Community Centre

With the uncertain promise of warmer weather on the horizon Hexham Community Centre reflects on their winter programme, which was made possible by a grant from the Government’s Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund, delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Christmas Lunch at Community Centre
Christmas Day saw more than 40 diners come to the Centre to celebrate together


The Cost of Living grants supported charities and community organisations in England at the frontline of dealing with the increase in the cost-of-living and Hexham Community Centre used the funding to increase the range of charitable activity they offer so that the Centre could offer more people a warm space, a warm meal and a warm welcome. Since October 2023 over 2000 people attended warm welcome sessions, from weekly lunch clubs to carpet bowls to children’s holiday activity. This represents an increase of 65% on those attending activity over the same period last winter. The funding enabled the Centre to offer activity free for those who needed it and a warm meal was provided at every session.   

Carpet Bowlers were treated to homemade soup


Centre Manager Jill Goodfellow has said “The funding received for the Warm Welcome programme has been absolutely amazing and has allowed us to offer a wider range of activity and reach more people than we could have done without it. More than 10% of those coming to the Warm Welcome had never attended sessions at the Centre before, so it has been really important to reach out to this new audience. Many of those coming to the Warm Welcome were looking for a space to come together and meet with other people and I’m thrilled that the Community Centre has been able to provide that space, bringing people together and reducing isolation.”

Families were able to play, craft and chat - whatever the weather - at After School and Holiday Stay and Plays 


Providing a warm meal at every session was an important part of the programme, from toasties at LEGO Club to a full Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. Almost 800 children and their adults came to after school activity between October and the end of March, with over 200 coming to holiday activity in the Christmas and February holidays, showing a huge demand for low-cost family activity in Hexham. Parents reported that children enjoyed the range of activity and loved to come to the Centre, and that the provision of food was hugely important helping to meet the pressures and costs of feeding growing children.

The new Sunday Social has served over 150 Sunday Lunches to those who'd otherwise be alone


As part of the Warm Welcome a new Sunday Social lunch club was introduced following feedback from those living in isolation that the weekends were the hardest time to be alone. The Sunday Social has served up over 150 Sunday lunches to local residents since October and Warm Welcome Coordinator Margaret said “The Sunday Social has become a vital part of the programme at the Centre, those attending the session have told us the positive difference it has made to their week, and in some cases their life. We are delighted to be able to continue it into the warmer months”

Whilst the Cost-of-Living grant covered the programme during the winter months the Centre are excited to announce that a new round of funding from the Community Foundation for Tyne and Wear will allow the activity for older and vulnerable adults to continue, at least until the summer months. The Centre Manager Jill has said “the Warm Welcome programme has been life changing for some of those attending, it has helped us to identify more areas of need and reach new people. It is important for us to be able to continue to work with those in need and isolation throughout the year. So we are extremely grateful to Community Foundation Tyne and Wear for supporting the programme further.”


You can find a full list of the Community Centre’s Community Projects on the website and keep an eye out for more activity as the Community Centre continues to identify gaps in activity for adults living in isolation and low income families in Hexham.


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Opening times

Opening times

  • Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.00pm
  • Saturday 10.00am-4.00pm
  • Sunday Closed

Evenings and Sundays are open by appointment.

Opening times are subject to change.

Christmas and bank holiday opening times may vary. 

How to find us

Hexham Community Centre,
Hexham & Tynedale Community Trust, Gilesgate, Hexham, NE46 3NP