A CRICKET club has set up a community ‘warm hub' that provides food and company for vulnerable residents struggling with the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis.

Odiham & Greywell CC (OGCC), based just outside of Hook, has been making use of its facilities to support the elderly and vulnerable since winter 2022, providing food, warmth and company.

This was made possible after ‘warm hub’ grants of up to £5,000 were made available via Hampshire County Council back in October last year.

The club brought together a team of volunteers to help implement the incentive.

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This involved setting up a cooking rota to provide food as well as advertising the space to potential local beneficiaries.

The OGCC warm hub caters for up to 35 people every week.

The food, hot drinks and warmth provided were the obvious benefits, but the opportunity to build friendships proved equally invaluable given the loneliness which affected so many during, and in the aftermath of, the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly those most vulnerable.

Since the council grant ended in April 2023, there have been many requests to keep the OGCC warm hub going.

Two weeks after the hub closed, it reopened, offering the same services for people for a small donation of £2.

The club is still running today and continues to attract residents, both new and existing members.

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Emma Cowdrill, women and girls development officer at The Ageas Bowl, said: “Out of the 27 attendees on the day that I visited, only a handful had any previous connection to the club. Chatting to some of those in attendance, it was clear how much the hub is appreciated.

“Certainly, the club sees huge value both in utilising the empty clubhouse during the day and also having a positive input in their community."

If your community cricket club is interested in doing something similar, please contact Emma Cowdrill – emma.cowdrill@ageasbowl.com.