Groups’ action will keep Bradford elderly warm

An elderly man has a hot drink to help keep warm

An elderly man has a hot drink to help keep warm

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Ilkley/Otley Reporter

Vulnerable people in Bradford, Airedale and Craven are being helped to stay warm and well this winter thanks to a local scheme supported by funding from the new NHS clinical commissioning groups.

The district’s three CCGs – Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven; Bradford City; and Bradford Districts – have invested £150,000 to support the Warm Homes Health Partnership work.

This aims to help vulnerable people keep warm or to be warmer by giving people cold weather information and advice, providing practical support and getting neighbours to help each other.

It is also funding the First Contact scheme which guides people to information, advice and services to help them stay safe, healthy and independent throughout winter, and also puts them in touch with organisations which can provide practical help.

From help to pay for fuel bills and debt advice to warm clothing, bedding or a food parcel, the scheme offers vulnerable people a range of different help and support.

First Contact is co-ordinated by the Carers’ Resource charity which works with other organisations to circulate forms across the district, using a checklist to highlight people’s needs and signpost them to the right support.

People can pick up a Staying warm and well this winter form and find out how they can get help or complete the form at carersresource.org/first- contact. It allows self-referral or professionals can complete the form for people they know to be in need.

Julia Burrows, public health consultant at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said: “Harsh weather conditions can have a dramatic impact on everyday life, particularly for those who are most vulnerable including the elderly and those with a long-term condition or disability.

“First Contact is a really useful scheme which signposts people to a range of practical help and support to vulnerable people who need it most. Simple things such as new duvets for children, or a food parcel for someone who’s in crisis and can’t afford shopping, can make a big difference to helping people stay warm and well during the winter months.”

The CCGs are also funding support run by Inn Churches, fuel poverty advice delivered by Bradford Citizens’ Advice Bureau and supporting the handyperson scheme.

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