With the nights drawing in and temperatures dropping, residents are being offered help to keep their warm and well this winter.
Cornwall Council and 30 partner organisations today launched a winter wellbeing programme. Anyone can call a single phone number and get help and advice on insulation, switching energy tariffs to save money, emergency funds for vulnerable people who can’t afford to heat their homes.
Last year the winter wellbeing programme helped over 1,400 homes with advice and support. Sixty-four hospital admissions were avoided and 254 homes were given emergency support to heat their homes.
Dr Caroline Court, Interim Director for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Public Health said winter wellbeing was a significant problem for many people in Cornwall.
“We have just published our public health annual report which has a strong focus on the connection between warm homes and people’s health.
“Being able to heat a home is not just about keeping warm. Keeping a house warm and dry helps keep away mould which can make illnesses such as asthma worse. Reducing energy costs and debts can help to reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing.
“Keeping warm is vital to staying healthy, particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the cold such as the elderly and people with a long-term health condition. For every £1 that we spend with the Winter Wellbeing programme we help to save the NHS £3.15.”
Cllr Sally Hawken, Cabinet member for Wellbeing and Public Health said one of the Council’s top priorities was to help prevent illness and deaths from the cold weather. “The winter wellbeing programme has given help to those who need it for the last six years. From setting your heating temperature correctly through to making sure you are on the right energy tariff to draught proofing your home, there are lots of simple things people can do to stay well and warm.”
Joel Williams Lead member for Children, Council of the Isles of Scilly added “This excellent Winter Wellbeing Programme will provide real support and help to our Island Community as we approach another winter.“Staying warm, together with trying to eat well and taking some exercise when we can, helps us all to stay healthy and active for as long as possible.”
The winter wellbeing guides are available in hard copy at GP surgeries, One Stop Shops, libraries, health centres, dentists, foodbanks, pharmacies and children’s centres or are available to online at www.cornwall.gov.uk/winterwellbeing.