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8th February 2012
Northamptonshire has been awarded £250,000 for the new Wrapped Up campaign as part of a national scheme to protect vulnerable people during the cold winter months.
A joint bid was put in by NHS Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire County Council, Age UK, Serve, Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Nene Commissioning for our share of the £20m national pot available.
The aim of the project is to help vulnerable people, for example older people or those with long term health conditions, to keep warm and safe and prevent people needing to go to hospital during the winter months.
In 2010, there were 253 excess winter deaths so agencies in the county are working to identify those most at risk and ensure they benefit from the scheme.
Age UK Northamptonshire’s Chief Officer, Liam Condron said: "Cold weather and fuel poverty can cause misery, avoidable illness and even death for too many older people, leading to distress and adding to the workload of healthcare providers.
"We are delighted to welcome theWrapped Up schemewhich enables local authorities to work alongside charitable and community organisations to help to keep vulnerable older people well during winter and ease the strain on local NHS services."
Dr Stephen Horsley, Director of Public Health for NHS Northamptonshire, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this funding, which will help protect those who need it most during the cold winter months.
"In Northamptonshire alone, there are 48,000 people aged 75 or over and 632 people who are homeless or sleeping rough. Around 13% of our households are elderly people living on their own, with 11.5% of households living in fuel poverty. It is essential that we provide all the support we can to help ensure these people are kept safe and well."
Councillor Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for health and adult social services said: "We recognise that cold weather can be dangerous for older and vulnerable people and I am pleased we are able to support this scheme and help keep people safe. We will be working in partnership to offer advice and support for those most at risk during the winter period."
What support is there?
Winter packs on how people can keep warm and well and a publicity drive to signpost vulnerable people to the helpline and other support will be distributed during mid February-March at local libraries by outreach teams, providers such as Age UK, SERVE and Northants Warm Homes will also have stock.
The winter packs are for those most at risk, they includes; thermometers, service providers information and a practical checklist to ensure you or someone you care about is warm this winter. The campaign encourages local residents to check and ensure that vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives in high risk groups are looked out for this winter.
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."
Click here for further information about the support available or to get your winter well kit or call 0300 126 1000, 8.00am-6.00pm Monday to Friday.