The Cardiff circus group that has opened a warm space for families amid the cost-of-living crisis

‘It’s a place where people can come to stay warm, connect, have a cup of tea … and there are showers’

A CIRCUS group in Adamsdown has opened a warm space – and has seen its popularity soar in the space of a few weeks.

NoFit State circus, which is based on Four Elms Road, has started using its centre as a warm space every Tuesday from 10am until 5.30pm with the help of the National Lottery.

The space offers people the chance to leave their homes and spend a day in the company of others who live in the area, while saving on their energy bills.

Rowan Whitehead works as a warm space host and has seen the space grow in popularity since it opened in the middle of January.

“We have started having a lot of families who come after school,” she said. “It is quite a long period between finishing school and bedtime if the house is cold so we have after-school crafts which have been really busy.

“People talked about the need for there to be a place where people can gather and be warm with rising energy costs so we saw a hole we could fill.

“We applied for the funding from The National Lottery to trial the warm space one day a week from January 12 to March 20.”

The cost-of-living crisis has meant that more people are relying on schemes such as the one run by NoFit State circus to save money on their energy bills. 

“It’s really horrible that we are are needed but I think it has shown that people need these safe spaces to visit,” she said.

“It’s a place where people can come to stay warm, connect, have a cup of tea, and there are showers.

“We have a child friendly area where there are toys, blocks and books. We have a quiet working area where adults can come to work and charge their devices whilst staying warm. We always provide hot drinks, snacks and free soup from the Oasis refugee centre.”

Users are full of praise for the scheme.

Jae Hee, a regular visitor, said: “It’s very beneficial. Having this so close to where I live in Splott is lovely. 

“It’s nice to be able to pop in and see familiar faces and join in with the activities that are put on.

“It’s been so good for my mental health and to learn about the local community. I don’t have any family here so it has been nice to meet people and become friends with them.” 

The circus workshop at the warm space at NoFit State circus

The opening of the warm space has also given visitors the chance to try their hand at free weekly circus workshops. 

“We do circus workshops each Tuesday, usually from about 12 until 2pm. This is nice as it gets the children up and moving, staying warm and learning new skills,” added Rowan.

“A scheme like this can bring people from the community together and can help them with their bills as they can come here for a day. People can make new friends, learn new skills and we can help adults feel less alone when their children are at school during the day.”