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A warm welcome from the warm space at Bishop Auckland Hospital

Welcome Space

Bishop Auckland Hospital is providing more than just health care - it's piloting becoming a welcome space this winter.

With the cost of living still high many people are finding 'the pinch' even more difficult especially with Christmas not far away.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) is opening its canteen doors to help people stay warm, meet new friends and receive wellbeing advice. The welcome space, which is working alongside County Durham Together Partnership and Wellbeing for Life is open every Thursday between 12 noon and 2.30pm and will include teams on hand with advice about housing, benefits, healthy eating and financial wellbeing.

The Trust is also facilitating a  'Pay with a post-it' board where staff working for the Trust can pre-pay for a warm drink and leave a message for anyone using the warm space. It means those using the space can take one of the post it notes and receive a warm drink during their visit.

The first welcome space will take place on 30 November with a free soup cookery class which will offer advice on making your pound go further and those visiting at this session will be able to enjoy a free bowl of the soup.

Chief Executive for CDDFT, Sue Jacques said: "We are more than a health care provider, we are part of the local communities we serve. We want our residents, patients and own colleagues to see Bishop Auckland Hospital at the heart of their community. We are grateful to many local partners and organisations for working collaboratively with us on this project and look forward to bringing people together and offering support over these winter months"

Kirsty Wilkinson, Public Health Strategic Manager for County Durham Together said: "It is great news that Bishop Auckland Hospital is going to be part of the network of welcome spaces across County Durham, providing more opportunities for the people of Bishop Auckland and the surrounding areas to stay warm, well and well hydrated this winter."

Wellbeing for Life's, Community Connector, Bethany Armstrong said:"Bishop Auckland Hospital are providing more than a welcome space by inviting a variety of services to drop in and chat amongst the community who may need further support. "This allows a holistic approach to how the public gain support with their wellbeing over this winter period"

The Trust are running their welcome space as part of their Heart of Bishop Auckland Hospital Campaign.

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital