A life-saving scheme to help vulnerable people stay warm during the winter months has been launched.

A life-saving scheme to help vulnerable people stay warm during the winter months has been launched.

The Winter Warmth Partnership has been funded, for the second year in a row, by the Department of Health’s Warm Homes Healthy People Fund.

Last year, the Peterborough Partnership helped more than 400 people access services and benefits available, and saved lives by preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in at least five homes.

The partnership comprises Peterborough City Council, Peterborough Environmental City Trust (PECT), the Salvation Army, Age UK,Public Health’s Healthy Lifestyles Team and Adult Social Care.

It is available to anyone living in privately-owned or rented homes in the city with an annual household income of below £26,000. It is geared particularly for people aged 65 and over, or those with a disability or with children under five.

The main aims are to:

• Raise awareness of the impact of cold homes on health and wellbeing, and the services which can support vulnerable people in winter months

• Provide advice and information for people at partners’ centres and charity shops, and through home visits, delivered by staff and volunteers
• Extend Peterborough’s Care and Repair Home Improvement Agency’s services to provide free boiler and gas fire servicing and repairs and draught proofing to keep homes warm and safe
• Provide visits from Care and Repair and Winter Warmth Advisor to deliver advice on the importance of keeping warm, how to set heating controls to maximise warmth and efficiency, energy efficiency, and identify any problems with paying bills linking to other services
• Provide heater loans and shopping trips to vulnerable older people in cold snaps, to reduce exposure to cold weather outdoors, and risk of falls
A special Winter Warmth hotline has been set up on 01733 863860 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm). Trained advisors are on hand to offer advice and arrange home visits for those who need one-to-one support.

Project workers can also carry out energy checks on homes to make sure draughts are excluded, heating is effectively controlled by timers and home insulation installed. Referrals to relevant organisations, for example free loft insulation schemes or the city council’s Repair Boiler and Central Heating Servicing Scheme, will then be made to ensure home improvements are hassle free.