In an effort to keep Wiltshire warm this winter, council-run libraries are giving out free thermal clothing and blankets to those in need.

The ‘warm packs’, which are being offered as part of a partnership between Warm and Safe Wiltshire and The Rural Communities Energy Support Network, will be available to collect at all Wiltshire Council libraries from this winter.

Each pack will contain a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket and a hot water bottle with a cover, and there is no criteria that must be met to be able to collect one.

As well as this, Wiltshire Council libraries are open as official ‘warm spaces’ for those in need of friendly support or shelter through the cost-of-living crisis.

Hot drinks are served on Thursday afternoons, and basic energy advice is on hand from Warm & Safe Wiltshire.

Salisbury Journal: The contents of the 2023 Wiltshire Council warm packs.The contents of the 2023 Wiltshire Council warm packs. (Image: Samantha Elliott)

"Everyone is affected by the cost-of-living crisis and, although we wish it wasn't the case, there will be many people who will be experiencing the same worries during this time,” explained Coun Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council.

“Our libraries are always welcoming spaces for people to visit and use, but our warm spaces will have some additional resources to help people through this time and hopefully ease the pressure.

"Our friendly staff are ready to welcome anyone through the doors who may be struggling, or want tips to help with the rising cost of living."

The scheme, which ran last year, has previously offered a blanket, hot water bottle and thermal mug, however the contents of the packs have been adapted this year to include winter clothing.

"As well as council warm spaces, there are many other warm spaces throughout the county that local communities have got up and running themselves," added Coun Clewer.

“We thank everyone once again for pulling together and looking out for one another."

The full list of libraries where you can collect a warm pack (subject to availability) can be found below:

Aldbourne, Amesbury, Box, Bradford on Avon, Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Cricklade, Devizes, Downton, Durrington, Ludgershall, Lyneham, Malmesbury, Market Lavington, Marlborough, Melksham, Mere, Netheravon, Pewsey, Purton, Ramsbury, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Tidworth, Tisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury, Wilton.

All Wiltshire Council libraries will be closed on December 25 to 26 and January 1.