Wales’ Minister for Health and Social Services was welcomed to a ‘warm room’ in Pembrokeshire last week, to witness the positive impact this community hub has had on local residents.

Eluned Morgan Senedd Member for Mid and West Wales, visited the Letterston Warm Room on Friday, January 12, to see how the facility has successfully transitioned to independent operation, serving up to 70 locals each week.

The Friday Venue received funding as part of a Welsh Government initiative to combat fuel poverty and social isolation in recent years.

Hosted at St. Giles Church Hall on St. David’s Road, the space offers a welcoming space for Letterston residents to socialise, enjoy affordable food and beverages, and escape the winter chill.

The visit provided an opportunity for Eluned to meet with both users and volunteers, hearing first-hand about the vital role the facility plays in the community.

“I was truly impressed by the sense of community,” said Eluned.

“It’s clear that this space is much more than just a place to stay warm; it’s a lifeline for many local residents, providing vital social connection and access to affordable food and resources.”

“The initiative's success is a testament to the dedication of its volunteers and the strong community spirit.

“The initial funding from the Welsh Labour Government provided a crucial catalyst, but the hub’s ongoing operation is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of local residents.”

Ms. Morgan was also joined by Sophie Buckley from Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS), highlighting the important role of the voluntary sector in supporting such initiatives. PAVS provides valuable advice and guidance to community groups across Pembrokeshire, ensuring they have the resources and support needed to thrive.

Sophie, Third Sector and Wellbeing Coordinator at PAVS said: “The Friday Venue is a wonderful example of a grassroots community group continuing to provide a warm welcoming space for people of all ages to access a hot drink, meal and company in their local community on a weekly basis.

“Many warm spaces received funding from the ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ in Pembrokeshire programme which aims to support people in Pembrokeshire during the coldest months of the year.”

There is also access to cost of living support including energy, money and debt advice by contacting the Pembrokeshire Community Hub on 01437 723660 or you can email [email protected]

The Keep Warm, Keep Well programme is led by Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council and a variety of voluntary sector delivery partners.

“PAVS would like to thank all our delivery partners and the network of community buildings offering warm welcome spaces this winter,” continued Sophie.

Eluned added: “The Letterston Warm Room is a shining example of what can be achieved when communities come together and are supported by the Welsh Government and organisations like PAVS, I am confident that this hub will continue to be a vital asset for Letterston for many years to come.”