Focus: Warm and well initiativeBy Jon Nurse
December 28, 2012
Winter can be a picturesque time of the year with its frosty mornings and snowy scenes, but its beauty is tinged with danger.
Elderly and disabled people are more vulnerable than most to the season’s biting cold temperatures and potent viruses, so help is at hand from a new scheme funded by
a Government grant.
Reporter JON NURSE found out more about the new Warm and Well in Wokingham borough initiative.
It's important to stay warm and healthy at this time of year and support is available in the borough for those in need.
More than £10,000 of funding from the Department of Health has been secured in a team effort by Wokingham Borough Council, NHS Berkshire West, Age UK Berkshire and Earley Charity.
The organisations want to help people in the borough who are elderly or who have disabilities, long-term illnesses and other needs to stay safe.
Blankets, thermal socks, thermal mugs and hot water bottles have been given out as part of the initiative in 500 winter emergency packs that are being hand-delivered by 18 organisations including parish councils, churches and community groups.
Katie James, from the Wokingham Borough Voluntary Sector Forum and the Earley Charity, said: “The Warm and Well initiative is a great example of how far limited resources can stretch if local organisations and individuals are keen on providing vital support to others in their community.
“At two networking events organised earlier this year, a number of organisations came forward with suggestions on how we can all work together to improve support and help to people in our community who need most help.”
The Warm and Well in Wokingham borough initiative has delivered thousands of leaflets to people who may be in need, as well as community centres, libraries and GP surgeries.
The leaflets share information about sources of support, tell how to keep homes warm and offers advice on staying fit during the cold weather.
Stuart Rowbotham, strategic director for health and wellbeing at Wokingham Borough Council, added: “Ensuring that elderly and disabled people stay warm, safe and well during extreme weather conditions is of paramount importance to all of us in the Wokingham borough.”
Berkshire Age UK is providing a free telephone shopping service until the end of February, with a trained volunteer ordering online shopping on behalf of an elderly or a disabled person unable to do the shopping themselves.
Volunteers for the Link Visiting Scheme will also be trained in January to provide basic advice on how to avoid injuries and accidents and stay well and warm.
The leaflet is available on the council’s website www.wokingham.gov.uk.
It can also be requested by phoning Wokingham Information Network (WIN) on (0118) 974 6772.