Winter Wellbeing – improving lives during Cornwall’s winter
2016/2017


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What is the current picutre?

The Winter Wellbeing partnership 2016/17  has helped over 1,400 households or nearly 3,000 people to keep their homes warm and themselves well.    Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are number 8th and 1st respectively in the table of most fuel poor areas in England, and helping people to stay warm and well has a positive effect on their health.   Examples include reducing mental health issues related to stress and helping stay in work or support people back to work because they are warmer.

The Winter Wellbeing partners, since 2011, have collectively helped 7,400 households (16,000 people) with advice on insulation, first time Central Heating systems, heating repairs, tariff switching, providing heating oil, coal and emergency fuel payments and assistance with their housing and council tax, all with the outcome to reduce fuel poverty, improve their health and progress to work.

The programme led to a successful bid to central government for £2.3m from the Central Heating Fund. This supported new first time central heating in 318 homes in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

The ongoing work to combat fuel poverty has led to greater recognition of the need to provide warm heathy homes and is included in NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan to improve health and wellbeing.

One customer that had a key meter top up stated “This is going to make such a difference to me I haven’t had the heater on since July. I am going to wash off all the mould and paint. The electric will enable me to do this”.

For the Emergency Fund we included the following:-

35 Oil Deliveries

3 electric vouchers

1 coin meter

8 Log deliveries

8 LPG deliveries

51 electric/gas bills part or fully paid

Dr Caroline Court, Acting Director of Public Health added: “It’s great to see the impact this invaluable programme has had over the last four years. It’s work that we will continue as part of the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Prevention is always better than cure and keeping people well enough to be able to work and enjoy being warm at home can have such a beneficial impact on health”.

Top tips for staying warm and well this winter leaflet

Winter Wellbeing guide for Cornwall 2016/17

 

Bev Wilson attended the National Energy Action

(NEA) Charity Conference in September 2017

Notes from NEA Conference

Key points that hit home for Cornwall

Jenny Saunders – Chief Executive NEA

  • Aim for long term support is better for energy efficiency
  • Work must continue with families especially rural homes,
    • replace broken boilers for people who have been without heating for years,
    • work with landlords to reduce fuel poverty and improve households and
    • affordable heat for all.
  • Discuss affordable warmth for all and giving more choices to vulnerable and low income families
  • Stop self disconnecting – people not using gas through the summer and in Fuel poverty by Winter due to the standing charge of £10.00 per month if not used for 5 or 6 months already in debt before the Winter Starts. This must stop.!
  • Must reduce damp and mould.

Previously with Winter Wellness

Last winter around 9,000 people in England and Wales died as a direct result of cold homes and fuel poverty. And many more suffered poor physical and mental health as a result of cold, damp and mould. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over 36,000 households are in fuel poverty with an estimated 300 extra deaths per winter attributed to this.

In Cornwall, a campaign run by Inclusion Cornwall and Cornwall Council Public Health, has been tackling this critical issue along with its partners for 6 years. Every winter since 2011 the Winter Wellbeing campaign has tackled issues relating to the winter fuel poverty crisis, providing potentially life saving, and certainly life improving, support to vulnerable residents in the county.

 

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Without sufficient heat and hot water, freezing and worried, people suffering from fuel poverty during the bitter and wet Cornish winter months are unable to function as others might. They may be unable to work, reluctant to go out, become socially isolated, suffer from depression, respiratory infections and many potentially fatal health conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

Energy Visit image 2However last winter in 2015/16, the Winter Wellbeing partnership in Cornwall supported 1,560 households to break this vicious cycle. By improving living conditions in the winter a whole range of benefits for families and individuals can be achieved. This may include improved school attendance and attainment in class, reduced admittance to hospital and GP’s surgeries, improved mental and physical health leading to people being able to move into work and reduced isolation for vulnerable adults. Most importantly it saves lives.

For 2016/17 the Winter Wellbeing programme offers access to a range of services to help individuals and families stay warm and well this winter, including:

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  • Services to help enjoy a warmer, healthier home
  • Independent energy advice tailored to individual needs, including home visits and follow-up support
  • Access to heating and insulation grants
  • Providing practical advice on understanding and reducing energy bills and combatting condensation and damp
  • Support for families with children if they have additional needs
  • Confidential advice on parenting
  • Debt advice
  • Benefits advice
  • Health information.

 

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The Winter Wellbeing service has demonstrated that inadequate heating is a primary barrier holding people back.  Without heating people suffer from poor health and their life chances diminish.

 Take a look at our Winter Wellbeing Guide for Cornwall 2016/17

 

What happened with Winter Wellbeing 2015/16?

Take a look at our flyer for the heads up on the key statistics:Winter wellbeing2015-16

Winter wellness statistics 2015/16

 

 

1,560 households assisted through Winter Wellness Freephone hotline, hosted by Community Energy Plus.   This resulted in:

  • 510 referrals to other partners for assistance, including:
  • 250 energy monitors distributed
  • 18 referrals to (Plymouth Energy Community) for energy advice and fuel debt issues
  • 11 referrals for gas boiler replacements (CEP programme, in addition to Central Heating Fund)
  • energy and health advice (Age UK);
  • energy advice (Cornwall Rural Community Charity)
  • support for collective switching (Community Energy Switch) with 2 rounds last Winter. In total, 1,832 switches have saved Cornwall householders £430,000.

317 households assisted (included in 1,400) by Winter Wellness Emergency Fund for help with:

  • heating oil – 33
  • coal, logs and wood – 17
  • gas (account) – 30
  • gas (key meter) – 50
  • gas bottles/LPG – 8
  • electric (account) – 64
  • electric (pay card/key meter) – 81
  • heating repairs – 14
  • lacked heating – 20.

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Since 2011, the Winter Wellbeing partnership has supported:

  • 6,000 households (average of 13,300 people)
  • 1,204 households helped through the Winter Wellness Emergency Fund
  • 755 hospital admissions prevented
  • 283 (to 2015) to remain in work and progress to work
  • 271 households received additional Cornwall Council discretionary funds.

Partners

  • Cornwall Council Public Health and Inclusion Cornwall ran the Winter Wellness programme for the fifth year running.
  • £25k investment, funded by Public Health Grant with contributions from Council of Isles of Scilly, Community Energy Plus, Inclusion Cornwall and Cornwall Community Foundation.
  • Lead partners from Inclusion Cornwall, Age UK, Citizens Advice Cornwall, Cornwall Rural Community Charity, Community Energy Plus, Cornwall Community Foundation, Cornwall Council, (Discretionary Funds, Home Solutions and Commercial Services, Public Health), Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Council of Isles of Scilly, Home Solutions, NHS and SSE.
  • 25,000 Top Tips for Staying Safe Warm and Well and 5,000 Winter Wellbeing Guides for Cornwall and 250 for Isles of Scilly produced and circulated through partners to customers.

Sources: University College London (UCL), Cornwall Council Public Health.

What happened with our Winter Wellness campaign in 2014/15? For all of the information click here.