Keeping warm this winter

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Latest News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

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Following the announcement of new figures that reveal there were 3,300 preventable winter deaths in the East of England last winter,i Age UK - the leading charity supporting older people is calling for stock to support its annual Spread the Warmth campaign.

The charity is calling on the public to support its Donate a Coat appeal by donating coats and jackets as well as hats, shirts and jumpers. All items will be sold on and re-loved through the charity’s 440+ shops to raise money for its Spread the Warmth campaign, which raises funds to help keep older people warm and well this winter.

Cold temperatures can be very dangerous to older people’s health as they not only increase the likelihood and severity of flu, chest infections and other respiratory problems but they also raise blood pressure which puts people at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes. To date, over 33,000 coats have been donated and resold through Age UK shops through its Donate a Coat appeal, helping to raise thousands of pounds to help keep older people warm.

Coats have already been donated by a host of well-known personalities including Dame Helen Mirren, newsreader Sian Williams, presenter Carol Vorderman, actress Zoe Wanamaker, presenter Carol McGiffin, former Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon, broadcaster Christine Bleakley and actor Christopher Biggins. These coats and jackets are on auction via eBay from Thursday 28 November 2013, 7.30pm to raise money for Age UK’s work to help end the needless suffering of older people in winter as part of the charity’s Spread the Warmth campaign at www.ebay.co.uk/ageuk.

Top fashion brands have also donated new coats to be sold on through Age UK shops including Barbour, Boden, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Topshop, Wallis and H&M. To find out more about Age UK’s Donate a Coat, please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/donateacoat to find out which coats are available and where to purchase them.

Hugh Forde, Managing Director of Retail at Age UK said: “We really need local support to help us Spread the Warmth this winter by not only donating coats for our Donate a Coat appeal but also any spare jumpers, hats and scarves to Age UK. Please come by to your local Age UK shop and drop them in, and you can help raise funds to keep older people warm and well this winter.”

During the Spread the Warmth campaign, Age UK and its local and national partners are working hard to help older people keep warm and well throughout the winter in a number of ways, including through winter benefit checks and handyperson services. They are providing hot nutritious meals at local lunch clubs as well as home visits and friendly telephone calls through befriending services for those who may feel isolated. Age UK also offers information and advice 365 days a year and older people and their families can call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 65 65.

Age UK is urging older people and their friends and family to be prepared this winter and it’s also calling on MPs of all parties to support investment to boost the energy efficiency of older people’s homes and help them keep warm. The Charity is calling on people to help them spread the warmth this winter by joining its campaign to tell MPs about the need for warm homes or making a donation by calling 0800 169 87 87, visiting www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk or donating £5 by texting WARMTH to 70004.