The warm space initiative ends this week.

The initiative was part of a package of support provided by the government and Manx Lottery Trust to help with the cost of living crisis.

Out of the £100,000 available from the Manx Lottery Trust to help organisers run a warm space, £56,000 was allocated.

South Douglas MHK and trustee of the Manx Lottery Trust Sarah Maltby said: ‘I was really pleased that this initiative helped to raise awareness of the vast amount of third sector, community and local authority run groups that are available in the Isle of Man.

‘I would really hope that the warm spaces community spirit continues to grow and the smaller grass root community groups reach out to the Manx Lottery Trust for further requests for different grant funding.’

She added: ‘I attended the Age Concern at the Manx Legion and the After school club at Arbory, Castletown and Malew community hall. I met a range of people, varying ages with varying needs and not a single person had a bad word to say.

‘They were truly grateful for the organisers who had the forethought to make an application to the fund and to provide additional services for their community.

‘The government cash injection along with the wide reaching awareness of the Manx Lottery Trust by the third sector provided a level of stability and normality to many islanders of all ages at a time where there were many unknowns.’

Sue Watterson, warm space organiser at St Mary’s on the Harbour in Castletown, said: ‘We have become increasingly busy since January 2023, the average turnout has increased to 19.

‘People who live alone seem to value the chance to be among others, and value the company.’

She continued: ‘Although a warm space will not be needed, we intend to continue.’

Another organiser said: ‘In principle it was a good concept, but not sure that we really reached those most in need.

‘We needed more input to get those in need to the warm spaces.

Transport for clients could be improved.

‘If it was cold or wet, people didn’t want to come out because even if they got warm, they then had to get wet and cold again going home.’

The organiser added: ‘It was really nice to see the camaraderie of those who came and the level of support they gave each other.’