West Yorkshire Leeds 180Players from Leeds United have to pitched their support towards West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Cherished Campaign, aimed at keeping older generations safe this winter.

The Championship football team's stars met with members of Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WISE) group at the club’s Thorp Arch training ground to highlight WYFRS' 10 top tips for a safe and healthy winter.

Defender Liam Cooper said: “Obviously keeping fit is a massive part of a footballer’s daily routine and we work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s hard to imagine now what it would feel like to be faced with mobility problems or to become frail in later life.

“What younger people can do is not take their fitness for granted and try and walk a mile in an older person’s shoes. Younger people should help older generations, be it by testing a smoke alarm, removing a trip hazard in their home or running an errand for them. Christmas is around the corner and so do your bit to spread the festive cheer by cherishing the older people in your lives and communities.”

The Cherished Campaign already has the backing of Leeds Rhinos Rugby League, Castleford Tigers RLFC and Huddersfield Town AFC. Emmerdale actor, John Middleton, who plays Ashley Thomas, has also lent his support to the awareness drive after his character in the ITV soap faced a diagnosis of dementia.

WYFRS Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said: “We have seen some fantastic examples of social responsibility from large retailers, including John Lewis, who have used their Christmas advert to highlight the issue of isolation among elderly people.

“Our Cherished message runs parallel to Age UK’s that ‘no-one should have no one this Christmas,’ and our slogan ‘kindness in a cuppa’ emphasises how easy it is to make a difference. It is not just about wellbeing but also fire safety in the homes of older people and we are extremely pleased to now have Leeds United on board as supporters."

The Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK are also backing the campaign. Age UK have launched their ‘no one should have no one at Christmas campaign’ which reports that one million older people regularly go for a month without speaking to anyone.

Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees Chief Executive Hilary Thompson added: “‘We are delighted to support the Cherished Campaign. It is great that the Fire Service and Leeds United recognise the difficulties that older people can face in the winter and that they are raising awareness and making a difference."

To find out more about the campaign visit www.westyorksfire.gov.uk