With the night’s drawing in and temperatures dropping, residents are being urged to think about how to keep their homes warm and safe over winter.
Today sees the launch of the winter wellbeing programme which gives residents advice and practical help. Advice is available on insulation, switching energy tariffs to save money, emergency funds for vulnerable people who can’t afford to heat homes and support to help people help themselves by getting back into employment.
Over 30 partners are again joining forces to launch the sixth year of the campaign, which will run through to 31st March 2017.
Being able to heat a home is not just about keeping warm, but about all the benefits associated. Keeping a house warm and dry helps keep away mould which can make illnesses such as asthma worse, and being warm has helped people concentrate on staying in work or applying for work. Help to stay warm for less by reducing energy costs and debts can help to reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing.
Dr Caroline Court, Acting Director for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Public Health said “Keeping warm is vital to staying healthy, particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the cold such as the elderly and people with a long-term health condition. One of our top priorities is to prevent illness and deaths from the cold weather.”
Councillor Jeremy Rowe, Chairman of Cornwall Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board added “Winter Wellbeing has given help to those who need it for the last 5 years of keeping communities healthy in winter. This programme shows partnership working at its best and I am very proud of the success they have achieved.”
Dr Tim Jones from Community Energy Plus, the Cornish energy charity which hosts Winter Wellbeing’s Freephone advice line, said: “Rising energy prices are a serious concern to many householders in Cornwall but people living in cold homes shouldn’t suffer in silence. Advice and practical help from a large network of local organisations is just a phone call away to help Cornish householders take action to enjoy warmer homes and lower energy bills this winter.”
Frances Grottick, Lead Member for Adult Services, Council of the Isles of Scilly added “This excellent Winter Wellbeing Programme will provide real support and help to our Island Community as we approach another Winter.
“Staying warm, together with trying to eat well and taking some exercise when we can, helps us all to stay healthy and active for as long as possible.”
The Winter Wellbeing guides also provide helpful information on what to do in an emergency such as flooding or snow, how to drive safely, keeping well by stocking up on medicines, as well as how to get financial help.
The guides are available in hard copy at Council One Stop Shops, GP surgeries, health centres, children’s centres or are available to view online at http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/winterwellbeing