Deputy mayor of Ross-on-Wye Cllr Bev Pope has raised concerns with the Gazette on the lack of people taking advantage of the warm rooms inititave.

Several community organisations have come together to help Ross residents through what is expected to be a particularly difficult winter. Ross Library, the community garden, St Mary’s Church, Hvoss The Venu, the Ross Baptist Church, and others.

Cllr Pope said: “We have started to get small numbers of people attending the various places open on different days.”

She added that some have been very much in need of the scheme and that “the scheme is starting to work”. However she is concerned that not enough people are aware of the scheme and may be missing out on help they sorely need.

Research from the Movement for Good Awards has found that 43 per cent of Herefordshire residents are more likely to depend on help from a charity than ever before.

Whilst 38 per cent say they are likely to reduce or stop the amount they donate due to the current climate, 33 per cent of residents are choosing to volunteer their time rather than help financially. Of those still intending to give, 60 per cent want to support local charities now more than ever.

Charities will be under increased strain this winter as a new poll of 67,000 people shows two in five UK residents are more likely to depend on charities during the cost-of living crisis.

Over a third of people living in Herefordshire (43 per cent) that took part in the research have admitted they are more likely than ever before to have to call on help from a charity. While in contrast 38 per cent said they are likely to reduce the amount they donate to charity due to the increasing costs they’re facing on their energy bills.

While people may be planning to give less money, 33 per cent of residents have said they’re more likely to volunteer their time instead. Three-in-five are more likely to support a local charity rather than a national or international one with 50 per cent of residents choosing frontline charities supporting those most in need due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The findings come as the UK’s largest network of food banks, The Trussell Trust, announced it had distributed a record number of food parcels between April and September this year, with one in five individuals referred to The Trussell Trust now coming from working households.