Launch event

A new animation, sharing research into the role of ‘warm hubs’, was launched to the public this month at the Festival of Social Science.

The animation, called ‘community connections in Swansea spaces’ features quotes from Swansea residents who were asked about their experiences of ‘warm hubs’ which were set up across the city last Winter in response to the cost-of-living crisis.

Criminology Lecturer, Ella Rabaiotti, who lead the research, visited the ‘warm hubs’, also known as ‘Swansea Spaces’, where community organisations and public spaces opened their doors to offer a warm place to sit, hot drink and local support.

 After speaking to over 40 residents about the hubs, her research found themes aligned with the purpose of the spaces to be ‘safe, warm and welcoming’.

The hubs were seen to be beneficial during the cost-of-living challenges. Residents also described Swansea Spaces as places of safety and inclusivity, with one participant saying:

 ‘You can sit anywhere here, everyone is gentle, it’s like a community’.

As a result, the most significant finding from the research was the impact of Swansea Spaces on building social connections and reducing isolation.

As part of the research project, which was funded through the Higher Education Council for Wales Research Innovation Wales Fund, the animation was produced in conjunction with Swansea MAD - a grassroots, anti-poverty, social justice organisation.

The animation was initially shared at a community event to discuss the learning from the scheme, before being publicly launched at the recent Festival of Social Science, and can now be viewed online.

Ella had this to say:

‘The animation aims to help the research reach a wider audience in a more accessible way, by telling the story of the warm hubs from the people who visit and organise them’.

Swansea Spaces continue to operate across the city. More details can be found at the directory of places. Ella plans to conduct further research into their role within their communities and within the wider poverty and social justice agenda.

For more information about the research, please contact:

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