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As Big Energy Week arrives, Wiltshire Council, working in partnership with Ridgeway Care and Repair, has successfully secured more than £90,000 of funding to further support vulnerable people in the cold winter months.
The Warm Homes Healthy People (WHHP) fund, provided by The Department of Health, helps support local authorities to reduce the levels of death and serious illness due to cold and damp housing.
The WHHP initiative was announced with the publication of the Cold Weather Plan published for England on November 1.
The money will be spent on a variety of initiatives and will also strengthen the services already provided. This will include an investment in additional workers to provide advice about the wide range of free help available including home improvements and benefits advice. In addition, there will be increased investment in the Good Neighbour service, extension of the winter emergency grant scheme so more vulnerable people can benefit and general communications to raise public awareness of issues surrounding protecting vulnerable people in the colder months.
Cabinet member for the environment Cllr Toby Sturgis said:
I’m delighted we have received this welcome additional funding to support the good work we are doing in Wiltshire. This extra money will help expand our range of services and support those most vulnerable in our local communities.
Rebecca Bell, Ridgeway Care and Repair project manager for Swindon and Wiltshire, said:
We’re very pleased to be working alongside Wiltshire Council to raise awareness among people living in the county about making their homes as energy efficient as possible. There are lots of excellent schemes which exist to help people who want to make improvements to their properties, but very few know about them. For example, anyone who’s on a low income or suffers with a health condition may even be entitled to have any work carried out free of charge.
Wiltshire Council and Ridgeway Care and Repair are also supporting Big Energy Week (January 16-21) and will be hosting a number of roadshows that people are welcome to attend. At the sessions, visitors will receive practical help and advice on how they can cut their fuel bills, get all the financial support they are entitled to, and the types of heating and insulation grants currently available.
To tie in with the theme of keeping out the cold, Ridgeway Care and Repair staff dressed in penguin and snowman outfits will be handing out refreshments to visitors.
The roadshows will be taking place at 10am-2pm at the following locations in January:
- Tuesday 17 in Salisbury - outside the Guildhall
- Thursday 19 in Trowbridge, Fore Street
- Thursday 26 in Devizes, outside the Bear Hotel
- Friday 27 in Chippenham, outside WH Smith
For more information about heating and insulation grants, people can contact Ridgeway Care and Repair on 01380 829009.