Support to help keep warm

A BID for government cash to help keep people safe and warm in their own home this winter has won more than £200,000 to ensure vulnerable people are helped and supported.

Cambridgeshire County Council pulled together the bid for funding from the DoH’s £20 million ‘Warm Homes, Healthy People’ fund on behalf of partners in Cambridgeshire including the voluntary sector, district councils and Public Health.

Locally the £207,000 will be used to reduce death and illness caused by cold housing by augmenting local services and commissioning flexible, responsive services. These will quickly identify those at risk and in need, establish rapid referral systems and increase the range and level of practical support such as benefits advice, shopping services and emergency heating repairs for people who are vulnerable to the health effects of cold weather.

In addition, in periods of predicted severe weather this funding will allow us to work with the voluntary sector and communities to ensure that vulnerable people are contacted to check they are safe and well, and risks to their health are minimised by support from voluntary and local authority agencies.

Cambridgeshire County Council is making the money available immediately and will be reimbursed when the Government funding allocation is received.

Cambridgeshire’s Director of Public Health, Dr Liz Robin, said: “The funding from the Warm Homes Healthy People fund is a very welcome boost to the work which is already going on in Cambridgeshire to protect vulnerable people during the winter months.

“I am delighted that we can now expand the range of services and support for those most at risk in our communities by working ever more closely with our colleagues in the public, private and volunteer sector.”

The Cambridgeshire bid was made on behalf the County and District Council’s and a range of statutory and voluntary agencies such as Age UK, the Care Network, the Community Foundation, CAB and Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: “By working even more closely together, health, welfare and safety agencies across Cambridgeshire, can do even more than in previous years to support our communities and I am delighted that the government has recognized the good work which has already started and awarded this funding to Cambridgeshire which will enable us to further expand the services, support and advice we are able to offer to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Agencies across Cambridgeshire are already working together to help people in the county stay safe, warm and well when the winter weather hits.

Under the guidance of the new Health and Wellbeing Board, health services, road safety experts and care support services are sharing information, expertise and support to ensure that a comprehensive range of services is available to vulnerable residents, when they need it most.

The local NHS will be working with District Councils and voluntary sector agencies such as Age UK to provide advice on how to keep warm and well over winter, as well as encouraging vulnerable people to take up flu vaccinations, and avoid slips and trips.