Some elderly people in the East Riding have been living without heating or hot water for up to four years, a charity has found.
Age UK East Riding is launching a six-week campaign to help older people keep warm and combat the effects of rocketing heating bills.
Starting next week Liz Pullen and two colleagues, from the charity, will be visiting pop-in coffee mornings to give people advice and tell them about the benefits they can claim.
Mrs Pullen said some people were facing a stark choice between heating or eating.
“A lot of elderly people remain in the family home, everybody leaves home and they are living in the same three-bedroomed house, but have nothing to maintain it and everything has started to crumble. They are asset rich in their home, but don’t have much income.
“It is quite amazing how many have no capital whatsoever and yet they have a home to maintain.
“We have even had cases of individuals living without heating or hot water for two, even four years before making contact.
“If people can take a little bit of action, like the old adage if they take care of pennies the pounds will take care of themselves.”
The campaign paid for by a grant from the Two Ridings Community Foundation, includes advice on fuel bills, methods of payment, benefits advice and information about crisis loans.
It can also refer clients with health-related issues for help with replacement heating systems, loft and cavity wall insulation.
Packs containing a blanket, hat and scarf, vacuum flask and packet soups will be given to those who are eligible while they are waiting for a referral.
Figures from National Energy Action show that 19.3 per cent of households in the East Riding, including many elderly people, are spending more than 10 per cent of household income on bills.
For more information call Age UK East Riding on 01482 869181, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.