More people in hard to reach rural areas, as well as some urban spaces, will be able to stay warm this winter thanks to a new initiative to install central heating in vulnerable households.
‘Hitting the Cold Spots’, Hampshire County Council’s response to winter fuel poverty, has been successful in securing grant funding from the government to install central heating into the properties of vulnerable older people and families that have previously had none and are not on the mains gas supply.
Along with Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council, Hampshire has been awarded £337,000 by the Department for Energy and Climate Change for the initiative.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It’s really good news that the County Council has been awarded this additional funding which will help us to ensure that residents who don’t have central heating, particularly those living in rural areas, will have the opportunity to install it. The cold can kill, and being able to keep warm is vital for everyone but particularly for older people, the very young and those with long term medical conditions.”
In Hampshire the project aims to install central heating for the first time in 96 vulnerable households across the 11 districts and 24 homes across the Southampton and Portsmouth areas. Referrals to Hitting the Cold Spots can be made by anyone, and will be used to identify the 120 most in need of the support from the Central Heating Fund initiative which will run until April 2016.
Keeping your home warm and you and your family healthy in the winter can be expensive. Cold weather not only makes life uncomfortable but can also lead to serious health problems such as respiratory diseases, asthma, depression, heart disease or stroke.
Now in its fifth year, Hitting the Cold Spots offers advice and support to older people and vulnerable families who are having trouble staying warm during the winter, including home visits and assistance in accessing grants for improvements to heating systems or emergency heaters.
For more information and advice, call the Hitting the Cold Spots advice line on 0800 804 8601 or visit the website