A Carlisle charity has launched a generous campaign to support families and young people throughout the winter. 

Carlisle Youth Zone launched its Winter Warm Zone on Friday, November 10 ahead of the National Day of Giving on November 28.

CYZ has pledged to once again offer free entry and a hot meal to those who are struggling throughout December and January. 

Last year, the charity ran a Winter Warm Zone campaign to enhance support to members and their families as they navigated the unprecedented scale and pace of the cost-of-living crisis, with many telling of the very real challenge of juggling eating and heating.

In response, CYZ launched its very first WWZ, removing the entry fee (50p a visit) and provided a free meal to all members, which saw it provide a phenomenal 12,579 free visits, 7384 free hot meals, and 826 free annual memberships to young people over the period.

News and Star: CYZ said: "We know from listening to our members that many are once again worrying about what this winter is going to bring, and we are as committed as ever to doing what we can.

One parent said "We didn't have enough food to go around so portions had to be small, knowing they could get extra food at CYZ was such a huge relief as a parent. We often would struggle to find the 50p in change and extra money for the cafe so knowing all this was free was invaluable to us.

"It also took away a lot of worry for me and knowing my children had the social freedom to attend CYZ with their friends and not feel isolated because they maybe couldn't go in the cafe for food. Seeing my children happy and healthy is the most important thing for me."

News and Star:

A £5, £10, or £15 donation will help CYZ provide thousands of children and young people with a safe, warm space and a hot meal for free.

To donate £5 text CYZ5 to 70085.

Any young person aged between seven and 18 can benefit from this campaign by signing up on the CYZ website.