Most libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will again offer "warm banks" this winter as cost of living pressures continue. "With temperatures dropping, and the price of essentials continuing to rise, it is a sad fact that many people will again be wondering how they will heat their homes this winter," said Isobel Hunter of Libraries Connected, a charity representing the services. "Libraries will be there to offer a warm space and a warm welcome – not only to those who are struggling to pay their energy bills, but anyone who's looking for company, conversation or advice." The initiatives began in 2022 when energy prices rose after the the Russia-Ukraine war began. Warm Welcome supports a network of more than 7,000 warm spaces across the UK, and more than half a million people accessed warm spaces last winter.