Published Friday 23 February 2018 at 13:54
In a further move to try and eradicate fuel poverty locally, Blackburn with Darwen Council has commissioned local charity Care Network to provide advice and information for people struggling to keep warm at home.
Care Network offers people living in the borough practical help and advice to keep warm at home, including assistance in claiming additional benefits and small grants to help towards improving heating, boiler replacement, loft and cavity wall insulation.
2015/16 saw 24,300 Excess Winter Deaths in England and Wales – a third of these attributable to cold homes.
The risks become more significant for people aged 65 and over and young children under 5. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, lung illnesses, flu and other conditions. Accidents also increase as people slip and fall in the snow or ice risking serious injury.
To find out more, call Care Network’s Healthy Homes team on (01254) 507255 or call in at Care Network Hub (opposite the entrance to Blackburn Library).
As part of wider work to combat fuel poverty locally, the Council is also backing a local charity’s call to businesses to show their support in highlighting fuel poverty.
Fuel Poverty Awareness Day takes place on Friday, February 23 and businesses are being asked by Blackburn with Darwen Healthy Living to invite their employees to come to work in a woolly hat that day to show their support and make a donation.
More than 60,000 households in Blackburn with Darwen also now have the opportunity to reap the benefits of a local energy offering with ‘Fairerpower Red Rose’.
Councillor Brian Taylor, Assistant Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
We are delighted to be working with Care Network on this vitally important work. This is part of the Council’s strategy to prevent ill health associated with living in a cold home. Anyone with a concern is urged to contact Care Network. We are determined to try and eradicate fuel poverty locally and this alongside other local schemes and initiatives will help us do so. Keeping people warm and healthy, especially during the winter, is vitally important and a key priority for the Council.
Wrapping up warm, eating hot meals, having hot drinks and moving around at home are some of the things you can do to stay warm and well during the cold weather. Heat your main living room at 18–21°C (64–70°F) and the rest of your house to at least 16°C (61°F). If you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18°C.
If you feel able to, it’s a good idea to check in on vulnerable relatives and neighbours, especially anyone with a heart or respiratory (breathing) problem. Make sure that they are safe and well, warm enough (especially at night), and have stocks of food and medicines, so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather.