King Charles Opens Doors to Three Royal Residences as "Warm Spaces"

King Charles Opens Doors to Three Royal Residences as "Warm Spaces"

King Charles is opening the door to three royal residences: Highgrove, Castle of Mey, and Dumfries House. The residences will serve as "warm spaces" this winter for local residents dealing with the cost-of-living crisis and loneliness.

Warm spaces, also called warm banks, are intended for those who are worried about the cost of heating their homes. According to Euro News, "The basic idea is to offer a safe, warm place where local people who can’t afford to heat their homes can come and spend time. Some venues may be able to offer food, drink, electric charging points and a sociable hub too."

Organized by the Prince's Foundation, the royal homes will be used as warm banks. Constantine Innemee, the director of Highgrove, told the BBC that the initiative was intended to help "tackle isolation in the local community" and to help "people who might be struggling to heat their home or just have not chatted to anyone for a while." King Charles, Innemee added, is "hugely supportive of this programme."

"Since establishing The Prince’s Foundation’s integrated health and wellbeing programme in May 2016, we have run many initiatives to help strengthen communities," Emily Cherrington, executive director of The Prince’s Foundation, said in a statement. "At a particularly hard time for many, we felt we had the capacity in the quieter winter months to utilise our spaces to benefit those in the surrounding communities, many of whom perhaps cannot afford to heat their homes or whom may not have the opportunity for social interaction. We hope that by offering a space for people at these three communities across the UK to meet for a cup of tea and some enjoyable activities, we can play a small part in ensuring our guests benefit from some warmth and friendship each week."

At Highgrove, community members are welcomed into the Orchard Room, and given free hot drinks, soup, and access to board games, knitting, and other crafts. According to Gloucestershire Live, "Such has been the demand the free tickets have already sold out for all sessions."

In King Charles's first-ever Christmas message, he spoke about the growing cost of living crisis in the UK. "And at this time of great anxiety and hardship—be it for those around the world facing conflict, famine or natural disaster, or for those at home finding ways to pay their bills and keep their families fed and warm—we see it in the humanity of people throughout our nations and the Commonwealth who so readily respond to the plight of others," he said.

The warm spaces program will run from January to March.

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