Support for Warm Spaces

Posted by: Press Team on 22 December 2022 16:23

Three businesses have become the first to donate money to a fund aimed at supporting the network of Warm Spaces in South Tyneside.

South Shields firm Dickson's, Colloide Engineering Systems and Howard Civil Engineers have all donated into the fund which was launched earlier this week to help make Warm Spaces even more welcoming for residents.

Cllr Ruth Berkley with Inspire's Charlotte Harrison, Stuart Sharpe from Colloide Engineering System and Elena Dickson from Dicksons at Boldon CA's warm space.
Cllr Ruth Berkley with Inspire's Charlotte Harrison, Stuart Sharpe from Colloide Engineering System and Elena Dickson from Dicksons at Boldon CA's warm space.

Dickson's have given £4,000 to Inspire South Tyneside - the umbrella group representing the third sector in South Tyneside - while Colloide Engineering Systems has donated £2,000 and Howard Civil Engineers have given £500. The donations will be used to fund activities and food over the festive period.

Elena Dickson, Marketing Director at Dicksons said: "Our business has been at the heart of South Tyneside for almost 70 years. We recognise the challenges many of our loyal customers are facing and through the Dickson Fund we are always keen to help the communities we serve. The Warm Spaces initiative will allow those struggling not just with rising costs but isolation to come together in safe environments this winter and have a real sense of support and belonging."

The fund is being administered by Inspire South Tyneside working closely with the Council, in line with its ambition of targeting support to make things fairer.

Marian Smyth Project Manager at Colloide Engineering Systems said: "Since March 2021 Colloide Engineering Systems has been working with South Tyneside Council on the Viking Energy Network Jarrow project. This is a pioneering renewable energy scheme extracting heat from river water from the River Tyne and exporting it to local council owned buildings throughout Jarrow. Colloide Engineering Systems are continually seeking different opportunities to give back to the local community, who have been supportive, patient and welcoming throughout the project.

"The Warm Spaces Fund is a fantastic initiative and one which is close to our hearts. With the dramatic rise in the cost of living, we understand that this winter will be more challenging than ever. We are very pleased to be a part of such a meaningful scheme that endeavours to create warm, safe, and welcoming spaces in which people have a sense of belonging and community support."

As a result of the donations, Inspire will be able to give each of the Warm Spaces open over the Christmas period £100 each.

Sophie Henderson, Sustainability Manager at Howard Civil Engineering said: "With the cost of living soaring and many people struggling over the winter months we wanted to contribute to the Warm Spaces within the Borough.

"We believe giving back to the communities that Howard's work in is extremely important and hope our £500 donation reaches as many people as possible and eases the burden of the cost of living crisis."

Staff from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will also be volunteering at some of the Warm Spaces over the festive period.

Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, said: "It is wonderful to see these organisations stepping up to support our communities in this way.

"One of our ambitions is to target support to make things fairer for people in South Tyneside and by working together in this way we can do exactly that. I'd like to place on record my thanks to these organisations - and hopefully more to come - who are helping us to support those struggling most in these challenging times."

Many Warm Spaces will continue to operate throughout the festive period. A full list of those open can be found by visiting                             

To find out more about Warm Spaces and to see what support is available to help with the cost of living, visit


Last modified: 22 December 2022 16:28