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New Bentilee Community Lounge will provide vital support to residents during winter and beyond

L-R Sara Picking, Gill O' Hare and Cllr Sarah-Jane Colclough
L-R Sara Picking, Gill O' Hare and Cllr Sarah-Jane Colclough
Published: Thursday, 14th December 2023

A community facility has opened at the Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre, giving residents vital direct support during the winter months and beyond.

The Community Lounge was officially launched this afternoon (Thursday 14 December). It will be open next Thursday 21 December and then on a weekly basis every Thursday, between 9:30am and 12pm, starting from Thursday 4 January.

The Bentilee Community Lounge is based near the Clowes Community Hall in the Neighbourhood Centre. It offers advice and signposting to relevant services including mental health and wellbeing support, employment and training plus combatting loneliness and isolation.

On the opening day, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Communities Together team provided free electric blanket checks for residents to ensure they are safe to use during the winter months. If deemed unfit for future use, residents were offered a fresh electric blanket by the fire service.

Councillor Duncan Walker, cabinet member for adult services said: “The Bentilee Community Lounge will provide much needed support for residents. The Neighbourhood Centre is extremely busy, and people who maybe haven’t been to a lounge before or didn’t know they could get support will be able to access it.

“Our Community Lounges are a vital resource for residents right across Stoke-on-Trent, especially during the winter. Having that person to talk to about issues you may be facing can be a lifesaver, and we’ve heard from residents who have thanked the services available in the lounges for helping them to get back on track.

“As well as support services and signposting, the Community Lounges are also a warm and welcoming space where residents can come and get a warm drink and a snack, charge their mobile devices and meet other people.

“Each community lounge is based in a strategic spot across Stoke-on-Trent where we know residents need support.”

Bentilee resident Irene Edwards, aged 91, attended the opening of the Community Lounge.

She said: “Coming to the Community Lounge makes me want to get up in the morning. I know I’ll get some company, advice and help and it keeps me fit and active. I hope people will start coming and using the lounge because there’s nowhere else like this.”

For details of the help and support available this winter visit: www.stoke.gov.uk/helpisathand or for more information about Community Lounges visit: communities-together.co.uk/