Sutton’s Liberal Democrat council has teamed up with a major London charity to tackle one of the biggest challenges for the borough’s older and more vulnerable people - keeping warm in winter.
Their free programme will offer many Sutton residents practical help in keeping warm, saving money, getting out of energy debt, and insulating their homes better. It will even offer free warm clothing to those who need it.
The WARMTH scheme, provided by the charity Groundwork London in partnership with Sutton Council, is a free referral service to promote good health and reduce ill-health during winter. Trained energy advisers will make free home visits to provide health and financial advice to some of Sutton’s most vulnerable households.
They can receive support and advice such as:
- Installation of energy-efficiency measures such as draught-proofing for windows and doors, dehumidifiers, energy-saving lightbulbs, reflective radiator panels and energy monitors, all of which can be fitted for free. Where possible people will be referred for support with home improvements such as insulation and boiler upgrades.
- One-to-one advice on energy saving and switching tariffs.
- Help and support with claiming benefits related to energy costs the household might qualify for, such as the Warm Homes Discount of £140 off electricity bills.
- Assistance with gas, electricity and water debt.
- Residents will also be able to receive a free Stay Warm Pack, which contains a fleece top, thermal underwear, socks and a blanket for children and adults at high risk of cold-related illnesses.
- Connections to other services could see older and disabled residents registered with their energy companies’ Priority Services Register, as well as being referred for council services such as fire safety, handy person scheme and benefit checks.
Sutton residents eligible for the service include:
- People with multiple health issues
- Young person on a low income (aged 16-25)
- People aged over 65
- People suffering from respiratory diseases and/or cardiovascular disease
- People who have severe mental illness or dementia
- Households on low incomes with children under the age of five
The scheme builds on Groundwork London’s successful Green Doctor programme, which has been delivering in-home visits to those most at risk of fuel poverty in London for more than 10 years.
Successful delivery of the WARMTH scheme should help local NHS services this winter by reducing pressure on healthcare services.
Cllr Colin Stears, Lib Dem Chair of the Adult Social Services and Health, said: “It can be a real problem for some of our more vulnerable residents to keep warm in the winter. This is why the council and Groundwork London have joined forces to support those who really feel the cold.
“People with health problems, severe mental illness or dementia, or young people on low income are all eligible for this free assistance. We invite anyone who needs help, or knows someone who may, to register for a free home visit from a Groundwork London adviser.”
As well as offering free, tailored in-home advice, the WARMTH scheme directs residents to other available services. All of this will help people to feel more a part of their community while reducing the effects of cold homes on people’s health through early action.
Referrals are made directly to Groundwork London, which is providing the service on behalf of Sutton Council, by either completing an online referral form or telephoning Groundwork London on 0300 365 3005.
Consent is needed from residents before a referral is made so that Groundwork London can contact them.
The WARMTH Scheme is being delivered in the London Borough of Sutton and nine other boroughs. It’s the first time so many boroughs have got together to provide such an important scheme to combat fuel poverty and health problems.
About Groundwork London
Groundwork London is a social and environmental regeneration charity. For almost 20 years they have been at the forefront of environmental and social regeneration in London; changing places and lives for the better, in some of the capital’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In today’s challenging social and economic climate the work they do has never been more important; creating better places, improving people’s economic prospects and helping people to live and work in a more sustainable way.