Sunderland's vulnerable residents to receive thermal insulation
Vulnerable homeowners in Sunderland are due to receive energy efficiency upgrades such as thermal insulation.
Following a £77,303 cash injection from the government, consumers across the city will be able to keep warm this winter through the Warm Homes, Healthy People scheme.
The initiative was launched to provide residents with advice on the benefits they are eligible for, ensure public awareness of the impact of severe weather and equip staff and volunteers with training on fuel poverty.
Mel Speding, councillor and cabinet secretary for Sunderland City Council, stated the funding will be used to distribute heaters, emergency packs, food vouchers and blankets to elderly individuals and struggling households.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "We welcome this additional funding, which will help us develop our existing work with partners to help vulnerable people within our community to stay warmer this winter."
Recent research from charity Age UK revealed that energy-efficient measures could prevent older people from suffering illnesses such as strokes and heart attacks, while properties with low levels of insulation are costing the NHS £1.3 billion every year.
According to Mr Speding, the Sunderland Warm Homes, Warm Hearts, Warm City project already offers home improvements to the elderly and families with young children and the additional resources will mean the work can continue.
Alongside Age UK Sunderland, the initiative is promoting a good neighbour scheme, which supports those most in need with services such as befriending and shopping.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt unveiled the news of the grant, saying he wants to make the UK one of the best places for old people to live in Europe and this means improving community and hospital standards.
He continued: "This funding plays a vital role in helping local authorities and their partners support people in their own homes, as well as preventing avoidable illnesses."
The project forms part of a wider government project - entitled the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework for 2013-14 - which focuses on improving isolation and care for older people.
Posted by Helen Hughes