Award winning chippy, Fish ‘n’ Fritz in Weymouth, will be opening their restaurant doors in a bid to help those in fuel poverty keep warm this winter. They will be turning the heating on early and serving free tea and toast every Thursday from 24th November, between 9am to 11am, for those struggling with the cost of heating their homes.
Fish ‘n’ Fritz are believed to be the first commercial premises (at time of print) to join local councils, charities, libraries, museums and NHS services providing free Warm Welcome Spaces in the Dorset Council area.
Warm Spaces or Warm banks, are safe places with the heating turned on, where people can go to get warm in the winter, when they cannot afford to heat their homes.
Owner of Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Paul Hay, explains, “we will be turning our heating on early every Thursday before we officially open, to provide a welcoming warm space for those who are struggling with the very stark choice between heating and eating this winter.”
Anyone struggling to keep the heating on can find their nearest free warm space on an interactive map, provided by the Warm Welcome Space Campaign.
Currently, just 7 places are displayed on this map in the Weymouth and Portland area, and Fish ’n’ Fritz is set to be the first independent commercial premises to join those providing a warm haven in the area.
Paul says,”we may be the first commercial premises in the Dorset Council area to provide a warm space under the Warm Welcome Initiative, but with 68% of people in the South West fighting to make ends meet, we hope many more individuals and businesses will open their doors and bring communities together this winter. Just like Real Impression Renovations who will be joining forces with us to provide this Warm Welcome Space.”
Local business, Real Impression Renovations, has stepped up to provide support towards the cost of running this Fish ‘n’ Fritz initiative.
Real Impression Renovations owner, Max Rayworth, says, ”it is hard to hear the stories from the local people I meet every day, who are facing difficulties this winter. So, when I heard Fish ‘n’ Fritz were starting their Warm Space initiative, I was pleased to get involved with sponsorship.”
The National Energy Action (NEA) announced that 11,400 winter deaths are already caused by cold weather each year and with the cost of heating rising to an all time high, this figure is set to rise this year. It is being hailed as a public health emergency.
Simone Phillips, Fish ‘n’ Fritz Manager, says, “when we heard 19,000 households in Dorset are struggling with fuel bills, we couldn’t just do nothing. Especially when we are seeing more and more hardworking locals struggling to make ends meet. We regularly give to the Food Banks, so we thought, why not run a Warm Space. We hope opening our doors for Tea and Toast on Thursdays will go some way to help our neighbours.”
Fish ‘n Fritz, Market Street, Weymouth has many accolades to its name, this year alone it was named in Fry magazine’s UK’s 10 Best Fish & Chip Restaurant and the UK’s 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways, plus they achieved TripAdvisors, 2022 Travellers Choice Awards. They regularly give back to the community with donations to the Weymouth Foodbank, The Lantern Trust, The Bus Shelter Dorset and local charities.
Owner, Paul Hay concludes, “Fish ‘n’ Fritz is a welcome, warm space for everyone, so please do not hesitate to step through our restaurant door on Thursday mornings from 9am to 11am. We are looking forward to meeting everyone over a warm cuppa from 24th November. I would also like to say a quick thank you to Steve Male from Cafe Rico, who kindly donated additional tea and coffee to the scheme and finally, Dorset Handmade Julie Philpott, who dilvered a delicous supply of her Dorset preserves. Thank you, everyone, for your support.”
NOTES –Fuel Poverty
Warm Welcome Initiative: https://www.warmwelcome.uk/
7 million – The estimated number of households across the UK in fuel poverty from 1 October 2022. This could rise to 10.7 million from spring 2023 as the current package of support for households runs out. Source: https://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/about-fuel-poverty/
19 000 households in fuel poverty in Dorset. Source: https://news.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/2022/03/04/dorset-residents-donate-75k-to-people-in-fuel-poverty/
Fuel poverty and data infrastructure is a report and an index showing the extent and depth of fuel poverty in England by The Open Data Institute (ODI).
68% of people in the South West face struggle to make ends meet according to new polling by Omnisis on behalf of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition. Omnisis surveyed 1,382 people on 21 October 2022. Results were weighted to be reflective of the GB population. Omnisis is a member of the British Polling Council. Full results can be downloaded from the following link: https://www.omnisis.co.uk/poll-results/VI-5-results-20-10-2022-energy