More help for those at risk from cold

Spreading the word: Red Cross volunteers with March residents Peter and Iris Cannon
Spreading the word: Red Cross volunteers with March residents Peter and Iris Cannon

Extra help has been made available for vulnerable individuals or families whose health could be at risk in cold weather.

Fenland District Council has secured £26,100 in additional funding from the Department of Health to improve heating in cold or damp homes.

Older people or children are at particularly high risk of developing breathing problems or even hypothermia.

Up to £1,000 per household is available to be spent on a variety of measures, including repairing or servicing boilers and gas fires and installing radiators in unheated living areas.

There is also a stock of free equipment to give out, including room thermometers, blankets,

carbon monoxide testers and flasks.

To qualify for a grant a household must include a person aged over 60 or under 16 or someone with a disability or chronic illness. Residents must also be in receipt of a low income-related benefit such as pension credit or have a household income of less than £27,000.

FDC has been working closely with the British Red Cross, the Care Network, Care and Repair, Age UK and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue to identify residents who could be at risk. This has included carrying out an extensive door-knocking campaign in parts of March.

Councillor Ralph Butcher, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “This extra funding is very welcome. For some people cold weather poses significant health risks and today’s high heating costs have added to the problem.

“So anyone who is struggling to keep warm and may be eligible for this extra help should get in touch with us.”

For more details, call FDC’s environmental health team on 01354 654321 .