Across the UK three million households are estimated to be living in fuel poverty. Every winter, people are struggling to stay warm at home when the temperature drops. People are struggling to meet basic living expenses, often having to choose between buying food, paying rent, or putting the heating on.
It is often the poorest people in our communities who pay the most for their energy as they are more likely to be using ‘pay as you go’ gas and electric meters, which cost more than for those paying by direct debit. This is because the suppliers charge more to manage the meters along with the overall increase in energy prices, making using electricity and gas unaffordable for many.
Living in cold homes can have an impact on anyone’s physical and mental health. Many homes are not well insulated and do not have efficient heating systems which means their homes will leak heat making it even colder. For the more vulnerable in our communities, especially the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions cold homes can lead to a deterioration in health. People may also experience increased mental health issues due to worry about personal finances and the stress of managing high energy bills. Poor mental health can cause isolation due to a lack of motivation to leave the home meaning people are staying in their cold homes.
Last year developmentplus in conjunction with Bridge Church Lincoln were able to provide Warm Home Packs to offer some help to over 100 people in our City in reducing fuel bills and keeping homes warm. The packs included carbon monoxide detectors, blankets, radiator bleed keys, radiator reflective foil, window draft excluder tape, blankets, thermal curtains as well as personal care items.
We are currently seeking funding to offer the same again this winter.
“I am very grateful for the Warm Pack project your so wonderful to deliver to my house. The items provided have really helped us save on heating.”
“Just thought I’d let you know that I have just spoken to Mr Jenkins. He’s really chuffed with his warm pack, the door curtain is perfect, he has bled his radiators with the key and he says the radiator heat reflectors are great & you can notice a real difference with the heat they give out!”
“We all love our fleece jumpers and spend most of the time in them. We used the tape to get rid of the gaps in our windows…no more drafts. The curtain and other wonderful items have all gone into providing us with better quality warmth when we do have our heating on.”
The National Energy Action website has lots of advice about ways to keep warm this winter and information for anyone struggling with their energy bills. Click the link to find out more National Energy Action
Once again this year Warm Welcome Spaces are opening their doors in local communities. They offer free, warm and friendly spaces with the opportunity to connect with people in your area and to make new friends.
There are several venues around the City and across the County and the details are all available on their website www.warmwelcome.uk