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5 thousand missing out on free help


6:55am 9th December 2010


 A scheme launched to protect York residents from the cold this winter has been given strong backing by City of York Council leader, Councillor Waller, after latest figures show that over 5,000 residents may be missing out on vital free assistance.

With temperatures plummeting, transport grinding to a standstill and the earliest widespread snowfall for 17 years, many York residents may be suffering unnecessarily when they could be accessing help from the Hotspots scheme – which aims to help vulnerable people keep warm, comfortable and safe in their own homes.

The Hotspots scheme works by helping older people and those on a low income to access services which make a real difference in the cold weather. Coordinated by the Energy Partnership, the scheme operates in conjunction with the NHS, the Pension Service, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Local Authorities to provide a free benefits checks, fire safety checks and home energy checks – which can often lead to grants for free heating systems and wall and loft insulation.

Councillor Andrew Waller, leader of the City of York Council, has expressed concerns that residents are suffering needlessly in this recent cold snap:

There are thousands of residents who can benefit from this scheme and we want to publicise it as much as possible. We recognise the vital role it plays in keeping people safe and warm in their homes and we intend to build on this service in the future.”

The scheme has improved the living conditions of over 500 York residents so far. Mrs Lydiate, from Rawcliffe, received free cavity wall and loft insulation after being referred through the Housing Standards Team at York Council. She is delighted with the outcome:

“I had no idea you could get this free assistance – and the installation team were so helpful and friendly. Our home is much warmer after the insulation; you can really feel the difference in this cold weather. We even qualified for a new smoke alarm with a ten year battery.”

Do you know of anyone who can benefit from this scheme or could you do with some extra help this winter? If so, please contact the Hotspots team on 01904 55 44 90.

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