Singer and one of the stars of this year's 'Dancing on Ice' on ITV; Cheryl Baker has teamed up with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) to encourage people across the county to keep the season of good will alive and well into 2018. It's all part of KFRS' 'Show You Care' campaign - which aims to reach out to those who live isolated lives and those who might need a little extra support this winter.
It's estimated that in Kent and Medway there are more than 40 thousand over 65s living socially isolated lives[i]. KFRS launched Show You Care to target vulnerable and hard to reach members of the community through neighbours, family members or friends who can make a simple 30 minute visit to someone they suspect is living alone and spending most of their time in isolation. As part of the campaign KFRS has developed what it is calling its 'Simple STEPS to staying safe and well' that anyone can do when they're visiting their loved ones to help them live a safer life:
S is for SLIPS - Are there potential tripping hazards?
T is for TEST - Smoke alarm - check it works and replace the batteries
E is for ELECTRICS - Can you spot any hazards like overloaded sockets?
P is for POTS & PANS - Does the kitchen or cooker need cleaning to reduce fire risk?
* S is for STAY - Make time for a tea and a chat
During the visit people are also encouraged to find out they could also be eligible for a FREE Safe and Well Visit with Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Cheryl Baker, famous for being part of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest winners 'Bucks Fizz' and a Kent resident said: "It really was a no-brainer for me to get involved with my local fire service for something so important. This is such a community spirited and uplifting campaign to get 2018 off to a very positive start. We're all connected in some way to someone who might be living in isolation, someone who has become less mobile or even to a young family who has recently arrived home with their new born - so it's important to try and do what we can to make people feel valued and cared for.
Cheryl added: "Show You Care is all about taking the time in 2018 to reach out and give something back to the people in our lives who need it the most. Something as simple as a half hour weekly visit can make such a difference. With the support of Kent Fire and Rescue Service we want people to know that help is at hand to keep our friends, neighbours and loved ones safe and well."
Assistant Director for Community Safety at KFRS, Ian Thomson said: "We're delighted to be working with Cheryl Baker to help make the lives of those living in isolation just that little bit better in 2018. Cheryl's a well-known Kent celebrity who crosses the generations, and a new generation will get to know her on this year's Dancing on Ice, add to this Cheryl's energy and enthusiasm for local campaigns and helping people - it really will make a difference getting as many people involved in 'Show You Care' as possible.
Ian added: "Most of us never expect to have a fire in our homes but sadly it can and does happen, half of our domestic fires start in the kitchen. We are asking everyone to think about those people we can help who could benefit from extra support like their elderly mum, a young parent with a baby or a neighbour with mobility issues or might be living with dementia. By showing you care and carrying out our 'Simple STEPS to staying safe and well' - it could make a difference to someone's life and you'll be helping to keep them safe."
[i]The figure is calculated using the national estimation of 12% of people aged 65 and over feeling socially isolated according to PHE https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461120/3a_Social_isolation-Full-revised.pdf
If this estimate was applied to Medway population, it would result in 4,698 people over 65 years old being socially isolated. More information can be found:http://medwayjsna.info/ua/427.html If this estimation was applied to the Kent population (of over 65s (306k) it would result in 36,708 socially isolated people over the age of 65.