Community / Sandwick hall and church aim to give ‘warm welcome’ every Friday

The initiative aims to help those struggling with energy price rises – but anyone is welcome to attend

The Carnegie Hall in Sandwick. Photo © Google 2022

A COMMUNITY hall in the South Mainland of Shetland is teaming up with a local church to open once a week to give people struggling with rising energy costs a warm place to spend the day.

In conjunction with the village’s Church of Scotland St Magnus kirk, Sandwick’s Carnegie Hall will soon open its doors on Fridays between 10am and 4pm to offer hot drinks, charging points, WiFi and newspapers.

There is no cost to those who wish to attend.

The initiative, which launches on 7 October, also aims to give older folk who may be feeling lonely a place to meet other people.

It comes after a church in Orkney said it would open its doors to give people a warm place to visit during the cost of living crisis, offering those struggling with bills some temporary respite.

Denis Buddle, who is a member of both the church and the Carnegie Hall committee, said the local initiative was also born out of rising energy bills and the cost of living crisis.


It also stems from the Church of Scotland asking if Shetland might provide a ‘warm place’ like Orkney.

“People can save at least a day on electricity and have a cup of tea and meet people,” Buddle said.

Folk will be able to hang out at the hall all day if they wish, or come and go as they please.

With WiFi on offer Buddle said there was also the opportunity for people to work from the hall instead of their home.

“It’s for everyone – old and young, families,” he added, while saying that there could be potential for transport being arranged for anyone who needed it.

If the project is successful then it could be expanded, for example through soup at lunchtimes or opening on other days.

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Meanwhile there has already been interest ahead of the first day. “We have had quite a few people volunteering to come and help, serve and talk to people,” Buddle said.

He added it was a “great partnership” between the church and the hall, which is offering its facilities for free.

The only stipulation is that children must be accompanied by an adult.

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