New funding has been secured to ensure that help to alleviate fuel poverty in England’s largest county can continue until the end of winter.
North Yorkshire County Council’s public health department has making an extra £53,000 in winter health grants available which will benefit partners in the Warm and Well initiative.
More than 30 organisations are involved in the project which is led by rural community council and charity Rural Action Yorkshire and alternative funding was needed to make sure it could continue after financial backing from British Gas Energy Trust ran out.
Now, new funds mean the initiative will continue until the end of March.
To date, more than 3,000 people who were struggling to meet the costs of keeping their homes warm in the coldest months, or whose health is adversely affected by the cold, have received help through Warm and Well since the project began in 2015. With the support of businesses and public authorities, the project has involved more than 400 home visits, leading to both practical and financial interventions to help vulnerable people across North Yorkshire.
Fuel poverty affects more than 26,000 homes across in the county and there are hundreds of additional and avoidable deaths each winter that are directly-related to excess cold, Rural Action Yorkshire said.
Candice Dowson, project co-ordinator at the charity, said: “Through fostering a collaborative spirit amongst the partnership, we have been able to be in the right place at the right time with the right people and support in place.
“It has been a wonderful project to be part of and we hope its legacy will continue for years to come.”
Warm and Well aims to improve physical and mental health, from conditions made worse by the cold weather such as arthritis, chronic lung diseases and asthma, to problems brought on by the unaffordability of keeping homes warm, such as depression, stress and anxiety.