You can look forward to some warmth in the winters. Snow wardens and winter workers are here to help people keep safe this winter.
Tens of thousands of people across the country will get help during the cold weather following 163 successful proposals from councils for a share of £20 million of Government funding to help people in the cold weather.
The successful councils have pledged to run innovative schemes to help vulnerable people keep warm and safe and help prevent people needing to go to hospital during the winter months.
The development is significant as the schemes include helping homeless people get access into housing. Urgent heating and insulation help will also be provided for vulnerable people. A substantial number of them include migrants.
It’s an established fact that migrants remain shelter-less as there are not enough council homes for them.
Statistics reveal as many as 45 council homes need to be set up on an average daily to accommodate the immigrants.
Calculations reveal another 415,000 extra homes will have to be established over the next 25 years at an annual cost of £1billion to keep families off the streets
The findings come from pressure group Migration Watch UK.
As of now, the waiting lists for social housing in England have witnessed a growth of nothing less than 60 per cent over the past eight years. The increase is largely being attributed to immigration.
The schemes include: Wakefield’s Snowbell Responders will offer free emergency heating, home insulation, visits by a handyperson, benefit checks and home fire safety checks. This scheme, which has received £90,900 from the Department of Health, will help almost a thousand households in Wakefield.
Community Angels in Cumbria will encourage people to look in on their neighbours. Homeless people will be helped into housing and urgent heating and insulation help will be provided for vulnerable people. Cumbria’s bid totals £377,500.
Blackburn’s £114,500 bid will recruit Winter Buddies to help vulnerable people access support services. And emergency packs containing a fleece, hot water bottle, thermal socks, hot drinks, soups and low energy halogen heaters will be distributed.
Lambeth has been given £131,000 for a Winter Workers team to carry out welfare visits, do shopping, walk pets and collect prescriptions. Three hundred Snow Wardens will provide cold weather assistance if it snows. And a handyperson service will help promote energy efficiency, install draft proofing and provide practical aids such as thermometers and body warmers.
Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley said: “Severe winter weather is a real threat to vulnerable people. People are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, respiratory illnesses can get worse, and there is the risk of falls on slippery ground.
“Every vulnerable person needs help in winter, whether it’s help with shopping, heating the home or making hot meals. We asked councils to come up with innovative ideas to look after their communities and have made £20 million available to fund their plans.
“I welcome how local authorities, together with charity partners like Age UK and the Community Foundation Network are putting support networks in place. This funding will equip those services to respond to needs and emergencies.
“From mending boilers in Blackburn to walking labradors in Lambeth, this money will make a huge difference to tens of thousands of people this winter.”
Severe cold weather can be dangerous for vulnerable groups such as older people and those with serious illnesses.
It’s important for people to look after their health as the winter months can mean: an increase in heart attacks and stroke — accounting for 40% of excess winter deaths; pressure on GPs – GP visits for respiratory illnesses increase by up to 19% for every 1°C drop below 5°C of the mean temperature; more pressure on the NHS – in 2009/10, the cost of emergency admissions due to falls on snow and ice was estimated at £42million.
it is estimated that more than £850 million is spent by the NHS each year as a result of the impact of cold housing on people’s health
This Warm Homes Healthy People funding is part of the cross-Government’s Cold Weather Plan.