Welcoming Spaces: Bristol Rovers Community Trust

Today’s guest blog is from Costa Chard, Welcoming Spaces coordinator at Bristol Rovers Community Trust.

For over a month now we have been running our Welcoming Space at the Bristol Rovers Memorial Stadium, also called our ‘warm hub’, joining over 95 other spaces with open doors to the community. Not your typical Welcoming Spaces venue to be sure, yet one that has given us the opportunity to support those in our community who may be struggling with high energy bills during this national cost of living crisis.

Working together with the Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, our local area has some fantastic Welcoming Spaces available, offering a variety of activities for all who attend and I wanted to highlight what makes our warm hub space special in its own way.

We are located in the Bristol Room opposite the Thatchers Bar at the Memorial Stadium, offering a warm space every Tuesday afternoon, from 1pm until 4pm. We can guarantee everyone who turns up to our warm hub will receive a friendly greeting and be made to feel very welcome. Thanks again to the Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, we are also able to offer freshly made organic soup every Tuesday with bread rolls, tea and coffee available throughout, as well as the opportunity to charge your phone if needed.

Fans are pictured on the pitch at the Memorial Stadium following Bristol Rovers' 7-0 win in May 2022.

Our Welcoming Space has a unique setting, looking out over the beloved Memorial Stadium turf, as well as our wide range of activities which range from chess, quizzes, scattegories, games and cards and everything else in between. I have been taught by those who attend a card game called estimation whist, which I have to admit, up until our warm hub, I had never even heard of let alone played and it did take me quite a while to get used to the rules! It was a very enjoyable game, even though I lost, a great experience bringing our group together in what I am sure can at first appear, if you’ve never been before, a rather daunting experience.

We aim to be a Welcoming Space for everyone. It doesn’t matter how the rising cost of living is impacting you, if you want to meet other people or relax overlooking our grounds, we are here to welcome you. If you are interested in attending or wish to know more then please feel free to contact us: info@bristolroverscommunity.org.uk

All of us at the Bristol Rovers Community Trust hope to see you at our Welcoming Space soon, even if it’s just to share a warm cup of tea or coffee – it’ll be great to meet you.

To find out where your nearest Welcoming Space is visit the Bristol City Council website, where there is also lots of cost of living advice and signposting available.