The council’s private sector housing team successfully led the bid to the Department of Health’s “Warm Homes Healthy People Fund” which will be used in a variety of ways to help reduce the effects of the cold weather. The team is working with a number of local organisations to provide a range of services which are over and above what is normally provided. These include:
• Provision of cold weather packs (thermal hats, gloves and slippers, thermal cards and gel hand warmers) .
• Heaters, draught exclusion kits and extra grab rails - available from the council’s Handyperson Service
• Extra meals for vulnerable people through the WRVS
• Extra nights of opening at the St Peter’s Night Shelter
• Inspections of cold homes by the private sector housing team
• Lunches for vulnerable older people by South Wye Regeneration Partnership and Newton Farm Community Association
Jacqueline O’Mahony, from the private sector housing team, which is spearheading the project said: “Under the government’s ‘Warm homes healthy people fund,’ £20 million was made available nationally. We secured £187,000 for Herefordshire which should help make a difference to vulnerable members of our community this winter.
“But it’s not something the council can do on its own - we’ve teamed up with ten voluntary and community groups to come up with the package of measures which are over and above what we would ordinarily be able to provide. We are so grateful to them for their support of this project - without them, this would have been impossible.”
All the partners involved in the scheme are now urging anyone in the county that comes across a vulnerable person - either in the course of their job or in their community - who could benefit from the scheme, to let them know about the scheme and to call the Get Warm, Stay Warm administrator on 01432 260235.