Thamesmead residents gained tips on how to keep warm this winter at an event offered by the Peabody Group.
The event took place at Thamesmead’s popular over 50s group, Pop in Parlour, which hosted the event as part of national Cold Homes Week.
Advisors from Peabody engaged with older residents about a number of topics including Peabody’s Home Energy Service which includes practical advice about heating systems, radiators and thermostats whilst keeping bills under control. Residents who follow their advisor’s recommendations save an average of £150 per year.
The event follows on from Peabody’s annual Winter Warmers (2014/15) campaign which has seen more than 2000 residents London-wide visited in their own home by staff volunteering their time to share cost-saving tips.
Fifteen of the 280 older Thamesmead residents already called-upon in Thamesmead were referred for follow-up visits which took place throughout the week when Peabody staff were joined by Erith & Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce as part of Age U.K.’s national Cold Homes Week.
Peabody’s Executive Director of Housing, Sandra Skeete said: “Nobody should have to suffer from illness or worse because they are worried about their fuel bill. Our Winter Warmers help us to identify those who need help and additional support in advance. Overall it is an overwhelming positive experience - employees really enjoy the visits and our residents find comfort in the knowledge that someone is looking out for them and feel confident that the help and support is there if any issues arise.”
Erith & Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce said: “There are far too many people in Thamesmead in fuel poverty. We need to tackle the causes in order to ensure that people don't have to make the weekly decision to either heat or eat. For older people who are more likely to be at home and less able to be active the problem is exacerbated so I am pleased to be able to work with Age UK Bexley and Greenwich and the Peabody Group including Trust Thamesmead as a first step in trying to help our older neighbours keep warm.”
Chief Executive of Age UK Bexley, Paul Goulden said: “I congratulate Trust Thamesmead on the hard work and effort that they are putting in to supporting their residents. The cold is one of the many factors that can seriously damage an older person’s mental and physical health, but it only takes small actions like energy efficiency advice and insulation to make a big difference.”
According to Age UK, an estimated 3.5 million elderly people are worried they will not be able to keep warm through the cold spell. This resulted in 31,000 ‘excess winter deaths’ in 2013, many of which could have be prevented if pensioners were in properly insulated homes.