A team of volunteers armed with snow shovels and shoe grippers is being recruited to help elderly Ribble Valley residents stay a step ahead of winter.
The Ribble Valley Snow Angels scheme was launched by the borough’s mayor, Coun. Richard Sherras.
Ribble Valley Borough Council has received £36,000 from the Public Health Fund for a raft of winter measures, including Snow Angels, boiler replacement and repair, plus falls prevention and winter packs for patients leaving Clitheroe and Longridge Community Hospitals.
Snow Angels will see the borough’s 41 parishes receive emergency equipment for use by volunteers to help elderly residents during heavy snow.
The equipment will include snow shovels, shoe grippers, bags of rock salt and high visibility tabards.
Now, a team of volunteers and co-ordinators are being sought for each parish to get the scheme up and running.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s housing strategy officer, Rachael Stott, said: “Winter is a particularly difficult and isolating time for the elderly, but this can be prevented. Much colder countries cope far better with the winter due to better insulated homes and greater awareness of the need for the elderly to keep warm.
“The Snow Angels scheme has proved successful in other rural boroughs and we are looking for a network of coordinators and volunteers to help make it a success in the Valley.
“We need a team of volunteers, such as young farmers and Scouts, willing to help us ensure some of Ribble Valley’s most vulnerable residents stay warm this winter.”
The Snow Angels scheme also includes free bags of rock salt for Ribble Valley residents aged over 70 and the loan of oil-filled radiators or a contribution towards emergency heating costs for households in receipt of benefits and with members aged over 65 or under five.
Funds are also available for boiler repairs for households in receipt of benefits and with members aged over 65 or under five, while residents who are particularly vulnerable may receive fleece blankets and thermos flasks.
Snow Angels co-ordinators and volunteers will receive suitable training and support.
l Further details of how to volunteer for or benefit from the scheme are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.