North Yorkshire County Council is funding a major project designed to support those most at risk this winter as temperatures tumble.
The County Council’s public health team, on behalf of the North Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board, has awarded a contract to deliver Winter Health Coordination to Citizens Advice Hambleton, Richmondshire and Selby and District.
Across North Yorkshire, fuel poverty affects more than 26,000 households and was a contributing factor in 431 excess winter deaths in 2012-13. There are about 3,000 emergency additional admissions to hospital each year because of cold conditions and it is estimated that around 11,000 children live in homes which struggle to pay the additional bills that winter brings with it.
As well as raising awareness of the impact of cold homes on our health and wellbeing, Warm & Well in North Yorkshire offers practical solutions to reduce fuel poverty and supports people and communities to stay warm and well in winter.
Warm & Well will help those most at risk this winter as temperatures fall, including those on benefits or low incomes, older people or people with long term health conditions and families with young children. It will also support people who live in rural areas where houses are often off the mains gas grid, rely on expensive forms of fuel to heat their homes, are poorly-insulated and even cut off when bad weather strikes.
County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “Winter has a significant and predictable impact on people’s health and few people realise the real extent of the effects of the cold, and that they are largely preventable.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Citizens Advice to continue the essential work of the Warm & Well in North Yorkshire project. By doing so, we aim to help reduce the negative effect of winter on North Yorkshire’s most vulnerable residents.”
As well as providing the Warm & Well single point of contact telephone line, the project will offer:
- Support for communities to set up winter weather schemes.
- Practical and financial help to stay warm and well at home.
- Talks, events and training for residents and frontline workers.
- Campaigns, resources and top tips on a wide range of wider health and wellbeing issues.
Referrals to the project can be made by individuals and professionals.
The new contract means this valuable service and working partnership can continue for another three years. The new point of contact consists of: a dedicated website at www.warmandwell.org.uk which includes an online referral form; email firstname.lastname@example.org and phone line, 01609 767 555.
Carol Shreeve, CEO at Citizens’ Advice, said: “We believe that this partnership can help to reduce fuel poverty and cold weather related health issues. We would encourage any individuals or organisations who want more information, or need help, to contact us. We are very proud to be working with partners who care so much about these issues.’’
The service has the backing of Community First Yorkshire who ran the initial Warm & Well project.