Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Return of projects to keep warm this winter

Projects that helped people stay warm and healthy last winter have been so successful that extra funding will see them run again.
Cash from last year’s Warm Homes Healthy People Fund provided a co-ordinated, all-round health, warmth and energy service. A total of 355 people were helped with heating repairs and improvements that they couldn’t afford otherwise. And 33 community groups received funding so they could provide advocacy support, run lunch clubs and drop-in events.
On the back of this success and with colder weather beginning to bite, NHS Leeds has set aside £171,000 and is working with Leeds City Council and others to provide vital services.
Emergency repairs and community grants will help ensure people don’t go cold and energy advice will be given out to help people save money on their fuel bills.
Care and Repair’s Warm Homes service will again provide emergency heating repairs for vulnerable households. Groundwork Leeds’ Green Doctor service will continue to provide advice to pensioners and lower income households on energy efficiency while Leeds Community Foundation are again handing out grants to community organisations to help people throughout the winter.
Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment, said:
“People who can ill-afford to upgrade or fix their heating are sometimes those who stand to benefit the most from keeping warm and keeping fuel bills down. The schemes proved very popular last year so thanks to financial support from NHS Leeds, they are making a welcome return.”
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for health and well being said:
“As well as lifting people out of fuel poverty this type of support brings direct health and well being benefits to some of our most vulnerable residents. Continuing our partnership approach means to we can bring tangible improvements to people’s quality of life and reduce the impact of cold-related illnesses on health services.”
Dr Simon Balmer, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds said:
“Being cold isn’t just uncomfortable; it can be very bad for your health. Sitting or sleeping in a cold room can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and breathing problems. That is why we are delighted to work in partnership with the council and others to provide practical help and advice to keep vulnerable households well over winter.” 
For emergency heating repairs through Care and Repair’s Warm Home service call 0113 200 9165.
For energy efficiency advice contact Groundwork Leeds’ Green Doctor service on 0113 238 0601.
Leeds Community Foundation can be contacted on 0113 242 2426 to discuss grants for communities or information can be found at www.leedscf.org.uk
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577