Warm welcome for a warm people project
Maltby High Street’s leisure centre and library has opened as a warm space after Chris Ng, who works as a development officer at Yorkshire Sport, helped to secure a £3,000 grant from Maltby Town Council to fund it until March.
Mr Ng, whose organisation aspires to improve people’s life through physical activity, gained support from Claire Mosley, neighbourhood coordinator for Hellaby, and ward councillors Simon Ball and Adam Tinsley after holding a meeting on how to help people in Maltby cope with freezing winter temperatures.
Mr Ng, who grew up in Rawmarsh and Swinton, said: “We identified the need of the community and believe having a warm bank facility in Maltby will not only give residents a place to stay warm, but somewhere to meet new people, take part in activities, provide refreshments, learn new skills and be a home from home.
“It is open seven days a week, from six in the morning until ten at night, and is going to be a lifeline for everyone just wishing to stay warm.
“Our plan was that £3,000 would cover the cost of everything we need to support people in undertaking activities and services which will be fun for all ages.”
During a town council meeting, Cllr Tinsley said he supported the scheme and that the four-figure donation was a small amount to ask considering an average homeowner’s energy bill could top £2,400.
Town council chair Cllr Chris McMahon agreed to support the initiative but said money would need to be found from elsewhere to cover the donation.
Mr Ng said his background in sport was a determining factor in why he wanted to help people stay warm through sport.
“All my life, I have been interested in sport which has opened new opportunities to succeed in my career and got me to where I am now — to be in a position to give back to the community,” he said.
“This is why I’m passionate about creating opportunities for others.
“My involvement has mainly been co-ordinating the conversations to achieve the overall objective of supporting the people of Maltby, which we will start by progressing the wellbeing effects of participating in sport.
“To see, hear and feel the ways people are struggling is very difficult. Our ambition is to make a difference in people’s lives in some way.”
Cllr Ball said: “It is fantastic to see a project come together this way that will benefit the people of Maltby who are struggling this winter due to the cost of living crisis.
“Myself, Adam and Chris have listened to the needs of our community and we are striving to make a difference in the best we can.”