Okehampton's Wellbeing Cafe has opened a new warm space for this winter for those in fuel poverty thanks to a grant from the National Grid Community Matters Fund.

The warm space will be open on Fridays from 9:30am-3pm (January to March) where visitors will be able to access free hot meals and drinks and recreational activities. The £9,000 grant will also allow Wellbeing Cafe staff to offer emotional and practical support for residents.

Gemma Partridge, manager at My Way Support CIC, which runs the Wellbeing Cafe, said: “This grant will allow us to continue this space through the winter months and allow us to have one day a week throughout the winter dedicated to providing therapeutic activities with a free hot meal and drink to those in food and fuel poverty.

“We want to help anyone in the community who may be suffering with loneliness or isolation and mental health struggles related to these issues. This is going to support our mission to make Okehampton and surrounding areas a suicide safer place.”

National Grid is the UK's largest electricity distribution network operator and, through its annual Community Matters Fund, has donated £5 million to 1,000 community groups, charities and local councils since 2021.

Chris Hayton, Director of Corporate Affairs at National Grid Electricity Distribution, said: "Unfortunately, we know that many people will struggle to keep their homes warm this winter. At a time when addressing fuel poverty has never been more critical, our Community Matters Fund will support local groups to deliver help where it’s most needed.

“We're looking forward to working with community groups like My Way Support to create positive change and to seeing the results of their hard work.”