Cleveland Fire Brigade’s annual winter Stay Safe and Warm campaign has received a national accolade and a £10,000 cash boost.
The campaign, now in its tenth year, has been given an Energy Impact Award from National Energy Action and British Gas, recognising and rewarding innovation and best practice.
The award, which comes with a £10,000 prize, will fund more heaters and blankets and other new equipment as well as help set-up up a “fuel bank” to provide an emergency fuel top-up for those in greatest need.
Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Little or no heating can be a matter of life and death and no one should be in that position. But we are here to help and this award is testament to the dedication and hard work of all those involved. This extra funding will go alongside the funding we already receive from our four local authorities, which allows us to provide this vital life-saving service.
“It is not just older people who are vulnerable and at risk of cold weather during the winter months. Every year we are alerted to a number of families who simply cannot afford to put their heating on and often their young children have to go to bed in their clothes to stay warm.
“We are ready to give any support that may be needed to ensure everyone stays safe and warm in in winter.”
Electric heaters, thermal blankets, flasks and fleecy mattress covers are available through the Stay Safe and Warm campaign and there is also advice on managing fuel bills and referrals for free boiler repairs or replacements where funding is available.
The campaign, which runs annually from October 1 to March 31, is led by Cleveland Fire Brigade and sees many agencies working together to provide advice and support.
Organisations involved include Age UK Teesside, Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough Councils, Middlesbrough Environment City, Middlesbrough and Stockton MIND and Warm Homes Healthy People, Stockton.
The campaign comes as fire brigades across the country together with NHS England, Public Health England, Age UK and the Local Government Association have pledged to tackle health and social problems together to try and reduce the number of winter hospital admissions and winter deaths and improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.
Stay Safe and Warm campaign
- Who is eligible? Anyone who is at risk from the effects of cold, either long or short term
- What does it cost – it’s a free service to anyone living in Cleveland
- Not means tested
- What do we offer? 24 hour, seven day a week support and a response within an hour of being contacted
- What do we provide? Portable heaters, electric blankets, thermal blankets, flasks, wind-up lanterns
- Partners: We can put people in touch with other agencies who can provide other support
- What age group do we cover? The youngest person we have helped is 16. The oldest 94. There is no restriction.
- Ring 01429 874063 or go to www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/warm
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