A new project, which aims to prevent children going to cold homes after school, has launched in East Lancashire.

The Living Room project has been launched by Bacup’s AB&D Community Centre, on Burnley Road, in collaboration with Trinity Baptist Church and Christchurch.

Peter Dunn, centre manager for the AB&D Community Centre, hopes the scheme will be used by those in need as utility bills rise.

The project follows an announcement earlier this month that libraries across Lancashire would become 'warm banks' to give families somewhere to go to be warm as the cost of living crisis and soaring energy bills force people to choose between heating and eating.

He said: “The Living Room project is open to anyone but the idea is to pick your child up from school and instead of going home and cooking meals, or warming the house, you come to us.

“We will cook you a meal, keep you warm. You can play some games, watch TV and kids can finish homework.

“We want it to feel like a homely living room.”

Peter said we have enjoyed some warm weather recently and haven’t needed to put the heating on. When the temperature drops people might begin to feel the impact of rising energy bills.

He said: “If all the predictions are true and we really are in for a concerning winter we are ready to help and support people in the community.

“Food banks are great but some people are saying they don’t want to, and might not be able to afford to, put their oven on.

“It’s really sad that we have come through Covid and are faced with yet another worrying time.

“In a modern day society we shouldn’t be dependent on food banks and warm spaces schemes.”

The Government will borrow an extra £70 billion over the coming months to fund its massive energy bills support for households and businesses.

The combined energy schemes will cost around £60 billion over the first six months, the Chancellor announced on Friday.

The support for regular people, which caps bills at £2,500 for the average household – although your bill can be higher or lower if you use more or less energy than the average – will cost £31 billion, according to current projections.

These forecasts are, however, highly uncertain because they depend on what happens to the volatile price of gas over the coming months.

The Living Room projects launches on November 7. Is it free and open to all.

Currently, it is set to take place twice a week from around 3.30pm. On Mondays it will be hosted at Trinity Baptist Church and on Fridays at the AB&D Community Centre.

They are currently looking for volunteers to help with the scheme. To apply email Peter at: pdunn@abdcentre.org.uk.