Funding on hand to keep vulerable people warm in winter

EAST Sussex will spend an extra quarter of a million pounds on innovative new plans to keep vulnerable people warm and healthy in the winter months.

The council has been given Government funding of £254,000, by the Department of Health, to develop and implement a co-ordinated approach to fuel poverty and emergency responses in cold weather.

This is a partnership project working with the district and borough councils, the NHS and the voluntary and community sector.

It will help to support vulnerable people, including families, the elderly and those living in rural areas.

The funding followed a successful council bid last year.

Work has begun putting the project in place and developing a long-term strategy.

Some of the aims which will be explored, include: developing a vulnerable persons list, ensuring emergency responses are triggered by the national Cold Weather Alert Service, a single point of access for energy advice and building the capacity of front line staff and communities to identify those at risk of fuel poverty.

Project officers will work both in and outside normal office hours to deal with fuel poverty issues and emergencies.

Deputy leader of the council and lead member for public health, Keith Glazier, said: “This is fantastic news for the people of East Sussex.

“Keeping warm in winter and remaining healthy go hand-in-hand and it is often the most vulnerable in our community that suffer the most.

“By having a co-ordinated and planned approach we can prevent unnecessary deaths and illness by more targeted help, advice and support to the people who really need it.”