Vulnerable south Londoners are to be provided with radiators to keep them warm as the cold snap starts to bite in the capital.
The Stay Warm, Stay Safe initiative is the brainchild of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Live Well Greenwich campaign and Charlton Athletic Community Trust who aid the elderly, infirm and those who are struggling to afford their heating in five local boroughs.
As many as 60 oil filled electric radiators will be dispatched to those who need them most in Southwark, Greenwich, Bromley and Bexley.
The heaters are being provided by Andrews Heat For Hire, a business whose roots lie south of the city.
Andrews have prepared and safety checked each heater so that they are ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice.
Council chiefs believe up to 100 local people could benefit.
Deb Brown, head of health improvement at Charlton Athletic Community Trust said for some residents a warm pack could be enough.
Containing soup, blankets, thermometers, hats and gloves they are handed out to people who are unable to afford to crank up their heating as much as they would like.
Deb added: ‘’This is a great opportunity for us because the heaters Andrews are providing enable us to help people further afield than just Greenwich.
‘’For example one of these heaters is going to a lady in Southwark today because it’s a perfect fit for her.
‘’The Stay Warm, Stay Safe campaign runs between October and March and helps people who have to spend more than ten per cent of their income on energy such as heating and lights.
‘’We also help with carers who look after people who are over 60 and disabled. We also check people’s homes and the temperature.
‘’We basically go out onto the streets of the five boroughs and ask people if they need support’’
Andrews Heat for Hire have partnered with the Charlton Athletic Community Trust for more than a decade.
Their southern regional director Mark Page said: “We understand that this time of year can be particularly difficult for a significant demographic of society and so it’s only right that we can play our part in improving people’s situations.
‘’As our relationship expands, we have started to work together to provide extra services and support for Royal Greenwich residents, who are at risk of being affected by the cold weather over the winter months.
“We’re glad that our units will provide warmth and safety to many people this winter and are proud to support a campaign that does so much for the local community.
“By getting on board and working with the Trust, we are able to make a big difference to many lives and offer an important but basic amenity that is often taken for granted.
‘’We see this very much as a long-term project in terms of our involvement and look forward to improving the welfare of a large number of people across the borough and beyond.
‘’We have been involved in the trust for more than ten years but this is the first time we have provided equipment
‘’It all started with a conversation between our MD Paul Wood and Jason Morgan CEO of CACT.
‘’We have provided equipment to charities before – but usually it’s Battersea Dogs Home”.
Charlton Athletic Community Trust are commissioned by Royal Borough of Greenwich Public Health and Wellbeing dept.
They deliver a whole range of services in the borough, and have been doing so for 12 years.
The charity is also involved in everything from programmes which help people to be active, help people becoming active and helping people get through the colder months.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s “Stay Warm Stay Safe” campaign is aimed towards residents over 60s and those with learning difficulties, physical impairments, mental health problems and financial issues, that are at risk of suffering due to low temperatures.
Additionally, the campaign will also be offering free room thermometers, advice on keeping active and healthy throughout the winter months, benefit entitlement checks and referrals and food bank vouchers.
According to the NHS, when temperatures drop below 8C, vulnerable people can become highly at risk of extreme diseases, such as heart attacks or hypothermia.
The scheme also distributes free room thermometers and a Freephone number for residents to call if they need support.
Workers will also offer advice on keeping active and healthy in the winter months, carry out a benefit entitlement check and mail elder residents to from Welfare Rights Service to check on entitlement.
They will also refer on to other support services and refer them for a ‘flu jab if they’re eligible and signpost them to the extensive range of Greenwich Healthy Living Services such as exercise, healthy eating and support to quit smoking.
The Freephone number is 0800 4704831
By Doug Shields