Life-saving partnership to help vulnerable people stay warm launched

A life-saving scheme to help vulnerable people stay warm during the winter months has been launched in Peterborough this week.

The Winter Warmth Partnership has been funded, for the second year in a row, by the Department of Health’s Warm Homes Healthy People Fund.

Last year, the Peterborough Partnership helped more than 400 people access services and benefits available, and saved lives by preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in at least five homes.

The partnership comprises Peterborough City Council, Peterborough Environmental City Trust (PECT), the Salvation Army, Age UK,Public Health’s Healthy Lifestyles Team and Adult Social Care.

It is available to anyone living in privately-owned or rented homes in the city with an annual household income of below £26,000. It is geared particularly for people aged 65 and over, or those with a disability or with children under five.

The main aims are to:

  • Raise awareness of the impact of cold homes on health and wellbeing, and the services which can support vulnerable people in winter months
  •  Provide advice and information for people at partners’ centres and charity shops, and through home visits, delivered by staff and volunteers
  • Extend Peterborough’s Care and Repair Home Improvement Agency’s services to provide free boiler and gas fire servicing and repairs and draught proofing to keep homes warm and safe
  • Provide visits from Care and Repair and Winter Warmth Advisor to deliver advice on the importance of keeping warm,  how to set heating controls to maximise warmth and efficiency, energy efficiency, and identify any problems with paying bills linking to other services
  • Provide heater loans and shopping trips to vulnerable older people in cold snaps, to reduce exposure to cold weather outdoors, and risk of falls

A special Winter Warmth hotline has been set up on 01733 863860 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm). Trained advisors are on hand to offer advice and arrange home visits for those who need one-to-one support.

Project workers can also carry out energy checks on homes to make sure draughts are excluded, heating is effectively controlled by timers and home insulation installed. Referrals to relevant organisations, for example free loft insulation schemes or the city council’s Repair Boiler and Central Heating Servicing Scheme, will then be made to ensure home improvements are hassle free.

PECT’s Communities Team Leader, Maxine Palmer, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that in today’s world people are still suffering during the colder months. This project is about making sure people are aware of, and can access, the services and support on offer to them.

“We would urge anyone who lives in a privately-owned or rented home in Peterborough with a household income of below £26,000 to call the hotline. There is a range of free help and benefits available and now the cold weather is setting in, this is a good opportunity to make sure you are receiving the help you need.”

Councillor Nigel North, Cabinet Advisor to the Leader on Environment Capital, at Peterborough City Council, said:  “I would like to congratulate PECT on obtaining this much needed funding to help our most vulnerable residents stay warm this winter.

“More than 10,000 city households are classed as being in fuel poverty and I would recommend to all residents that they sign up to Peterborough’s collective energy scheme – Ready to Switch? – which could save you up to £200 a year on your fuel bill.

“Just visit www.readytoswitch.co.uk or call 01733 747474 for more details.”

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All media enquiries should be made to Julia Ogden at Athene Communications. Call Julia on 01733 207333 or email [email protected]