Get cosy with warm homes scheme

WARMER HOMES: John Barber (left) and Brian Jones.
WARMER HOMES: John Barber (left) and Brian Jones.

A SUCCESSFUL Ribble Valley Borough Council scheme that saw 700 vulnerable households receive free warm home packs is being re-launched to include boiler replacements and repairs.

The “Warm Homes Healthy People” scheme, which launched last winter with £108,000 from the Department of Health, offered free electric blankets, fleece shawls, hats and gloves, flasks and thermos cups, nightlights, slippers vouchers, draft-proofing and radiator reflectors.

The packs were delivered to households by trained volunteers, along with advice about energy efficiency measures for the home. The scheme was a huge success and has been cited by the Government as an example of best practise.

Now it is being re-launched with the addition of grants towards boiler replacements or repairs.

Ribble Valley Borough Council housing officer John Barber said: “Many vulnerable residents struggle to keep their homes warm enough and pay their heating bills.

“Warm Homes Healthy People was a huge success and we are delighted to extend it to include boiler replacements or repairs. This will give a valuable boost to vulnerable households facing fuel poverty.”

Clitheroe householder Brian Jones, who has benefitted from a new boiler thanks to a Warm Homes Healthy People grant, added: “I would recommend the scheme to any resident worried about staying warm this winter.

“We received a grant for a new boiler, which will ensure we are warm, as well as reduce our heating bills.”

Warm Homes Healthy People is available to Ribble Valley residents aged 65 or over, or residents with young children, and in receipt of an income-related benefit. It is also available to residents aged 85 or over regardless of income, although the packs are not available to households that received them last winter.

An electric blanket testing day hosted by the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will also take place for all Ribble Valley residents on Tuesday, October 30th, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Old Station Buildings in Berry Lane, Longridge, and from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ribble Valley Homes in Station Road, Clitheroe. Replacement electric blankets will be available where needed and booking is necessary.

Warm Homes Healthy People is delivered in association with Help Direct, Age UK and Ribble Valley Homes, and further details are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.