A new initiative called ‘Healthy Homes Project” is being led by Humber and Wolds Rural Community in East Yorkshire to address the root causes of cold homes and its effect on those living with health conditions.
The project will work with East Riding Council, Community Energy Solutions and other organisations.
The project is funded by the British Gas Energy Trust. The charity is co-ordinating a united effort with the local authority and voluntary & community sector groups, carers associations, home improvement agencies, health professionals and others to focus on improving winter health, energy efficiency, warming cold homes and providing emergency support. These organisations can made referrals directly to the project
Susan Oliver, Delivery and Development Manager at Humber & Wolds Rural Community Council, said: “By working together with other organisations across the public and charity sector, we can address such difficult issues as fuel poverty, emergency hospital admissions, poor health and well-being, and at its most severe – excess winter deaths.
“Living in a cold home is not only detrimental to physical health, but it also affects emotional wellbeing, and can lead to loneliness or low confidence, or to mental health issues like depression.
“Through a range of services within the Healthy Homes Project, we will be able to face these challenges head-on and ensure that as many people as possible have a warm home and are well-cared for especially during the long, cold winter months.”
The project will support those most at risk who have health conditions exacerbated by living in cold homes. This will include those on benefits or low incomes, older people or people with long-term health conditions and families with young children.
It will support people who live in rural areas where houses are often off the mains gas grid, rely on expensive forms of fuel to heat their homes, are poorly-insulated and even cut off when bad weather strikes.
Support and aid will be wide-ranging and tailored depending on individual needs, such as providing basic energy-saving advice, conducting home visits to identify cold related issues, providing debt and benefit advice, installing Alternative Heating systems in eligible homes and applying for Warm Homes Discounts and registering vulnerable individuals for the Priority Services Register.
Fuel poverty affects over 11,900 households in East Yorkshire.