Credit - Adam Cleary

Circus hosts 175 visitors in warm space scheme to combat high energy bills

NoFit State organisers opened the space in January to help local people battle the cost-of-living crisis.

A CIRCUS warm space in Adamsdown has helped more people than expected and organisers want to bring it back next winter.

NoFit State Circus are the UK’s leading large scale contemporary circus company. Since being formed in Cardiff in 1986, the group have provided a wide variety of community, education and training projects for people of all ages.

With the cost-of-living crisis affecting people up and down the country, NoFit State decided to make use of their HQ on Four Elms Road, opening a weekly warm space every Tuesday. Read more: The Cardiff circus group that has opened a warm space for families amid the cost-of-living crisis – The Cardiffian (

The warm space has proved popular, with the group welcoming 175 visitors in total since it opened in January.  

However, the scheme is set to finish on March 28 when the National Lottery funding comes to an end. 

“I think the scheme has gone really amazingly,” said Rowan Whitehead, a warm space host for NoFit State Circus.

“It’s built up every week and people have really appreciated the space.

“People have been able to meet new people, come in for a sit down while their children play, and have lunch together.

“I think it’s really brought the community together. There’s been a lot of different people coming in over the months, and the same people have been returning each week so it’s been a really nice mix of different people.”

As of December 2022, there were over 300 warm spaces in Wales according to the Welsh Government. There are 17 warm spaces in a one mile radius of Cardiff city centre alone. These stats shows how vital spaces like the one at NoFit State are to people.

The scheme at NoFit State proved particularly popular during the February half-term holiday. NoFit State gave parents the chance to keep their children occupied for free, a gesture that was much appreciated. 

“Over the holiday, NoFit State have been trying to give people free stuff to do because it can be hard to find something free to entertain the children,” explained Rowan. 

“This half-term there were circus workshops and craft sessions in the mornings and afternoons. The children were making things like lanterns ready for an event we held on the Saturday called Parklight.

“We still held warm space as usual on the Tuesday that week and it was so busy. It was amazing, we were at full capacity. We had the morning session and lunch, that was really appreciated. Everyone was eating together and chatting together, it felt like a real community space. It felt really special.

“The workshops continued through the week and we had a really good turnout at Brewery Park on the Saturday for Parklight. 

“It was incredible for children in the area to see some circus skills in person and it was really special for all of that to be brought into the community.”

Regular users of the warm space have been full of praise for the scheme.

“It’s been very beneficial. Having this so close to where I live in Splott is lovely,” said Jae Hee.

“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.”

NoFit State hopes the scheme will become an annual event if energy bills continue to soar. 

Inside the NoFit main room where the warm space sessions take place. Credit – Adam Cleary
The co-working room at NoFit State. Credit – Adam Cleary
Some of the arts and crafts that children produced during warm hub sessions. Credit – Adam Cleary

It has to re-apply for lottery funding but Rowan is confident that the group will be successful given how well the scheme has been received.

“I would absolutely love to do something like this again,” she said.

“It depends on funding and project development but I know NoFit State definitely want to do a lot more community engagement by bringing people together.

“I just think it’s been so beneficial for the community. We’ve had 175 participants so far which is higher than expected, but if you don’t trial something you’ll never know. 

“It has just been so much busier than expected, with such a variety of people as well. It’s so nice that at lunch time we’ll have co-workers, families, circus trainers all sitting down having lunch together.

“It’s been really special for me as a warm space host. It’s been brilliant on a personal level,” she explained.

“I didn’t know what the hosting was going to entail but I’ve really loved it. I’ve connected to a lot of different people. I’ve got personal experience of how isolating it can be to be at home with young children, so I know how much it benefits people coming in and making friends. 

“I would absolutely love to do this again.”

Read more about NoFit State and their community projects here – NoFit State | Home

Credit – Adam Cleary

Watch the full video below

Rowan Whitehead discusses what the future holds for the NoFit State circus warm hub