AS THE weather gets colder, 2,500 winter warmer packs will be given to Coventry’s elderly and vulnerable people, writes Amy Ford.
The parcels, being given out by Cadent and Groundwork, will contain socks, gloves, a hat, scarf, hot water bottle, blanket and a thermal flask to try and make winter more comfortable for those who need it most.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed there were an estimated 28,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2019 to 2020 – 19.6 per cent higher than the year before.
Respiratory diseases accounted for almost 40 per cent of those deaths and, according to fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, 8,500 were due to cold homes, – a statistic likely to increase this year.
The community action charities hope they can avert some of those deaths by bringing back the winter warmer packs which proved successful last year.
Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, said they were delighted to be working with Groundwork again, especially after the great feedback the scheme received last year.
The packs will be distributed via local foodbanks and community hubs across towns and cities in the UK.
Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive, said: “Living in a dangerously cold home increases the risk of heart attacks, respiratory illness, pneumonia and affects mental health, which means finding cost-effective ways of keeping people warm is essential.”
Mr Duxbury said people should not only ‘stay warm and well this winter’ but also ‘take back control of their energy usage’.
Ms Dwyer predicted the ongoing fuel crisis and rising energy costs presented another reason as to why people were in desperate need of help.
The charity aims to keep everyone safe as figures for excess winter deaths are set to rise.
Visit cadentfoundation.com for more on The Cadent Foundation, established to support projects which help people living in vulnerable situations and disadvantaged communities.
Go to groundwork.org.uk for further details on Groundwork’s Green Doctors programme, together with tips and advice on keeping homes warm this winter.