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Keeping warm

Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is simply by staying warm.

Cold weather can lead to serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.  This is of concern if you're vulnerable to cold-related illnesses, like being over 60 or having a long term health condition or disability.

A good place to start for advice and information about keeping warm is the Care Network Hub.

Care Network have produced a guide to help you maintain good health during the colder winter months. If you would like to order a free copy for yourself or a loved one please call Care Network on 01254 507255. 

There are lots of useful tips and advice about keeping warm on the NHS website

The Department of Health has produced a 'Keep warm, keep well' booklet which you can download here

Age UK run a 'Spread the warmth' campaign to help people stay warm over winter.  More information is available on Age UK's website.   You can also download Age UK's 'Winter wrapped up' guide to keeping well and staying warm over winter by clicking here


Home maintenance

Keeping your home well maintained will help to keep your house warm.  See the Home maintenance page to find out what home maintenance services are available in Blackburn with Darwen.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount Scheme provides up to £140 discount on your electricity bills in winter 20120/21.  Click here to find out more.

Help with heating costs

Many people will be eligible for help with extra heating costs. Winter Fuel Payments are made every winter to people over 60, regardless of the temperature. If you are not getting a Winter Fuel Payment, telephone 0800 731 0160.  For more information on Winter Fuel Payments click here.

If you are in receipt of Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit you may be able to get Cold Weather Payments when the weather is particularly cold for seven days or more.  For more information on Cold Weather Payments click here.

Many people are not claiming all the benefits they are entitled to. Contact the free benefits advice line on 0800 882 200 to find out if you are entitled to more than you are currently getting.

Cosy Homes in Lancashire

Cosy Homes in Lancashire provides you with access to cost effective ways of keeping your home warm whether you own or privately rent.  Contact Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) on 03306 061 488 (local rates apply) 9am to 5pm to find out more.

Covid support grants 2021

There is also support still available through the Covid Local Support Grant. This is a grant to support families and children and other vulnerable adults through the winter and spring period to access food, support with utility bills and other essentials. 

The programme is primarily for families with children under 19 as of who may not meet the threshold for benefits but have been affected directly by the pandemic through job losses, furlough, taking time off work unpaid to care for children who are isolating etc, and for those who are eligible for free school meals, healthy start vouchers, young people not in education or training.

The Council is working with Care Network, BwD Healthy Living, Jubilee Tower Credit Union, United Utilities and Rummage Rescuers to provide support with utility bills and essential items including broken washers, cookers, fridges and freezers, for boiler servicing and repairs.

People can self-refer by telephoning the Help Hub on (01254) 588111 between 9am - 5pm or anytime via the Help Hub webpage.

Flu jabs

If you are aged over 65, have a long-term medical condition, are pregnant or are a carer, you are advised to have a flu jab. Speak to your GP about this. 

Be a good neighbour

If you have neighbours who will find it especially difficult in snow and cold, because of age or disability, please offer them help and keep an eye out for them. 

Age UK's Advice and Information Service

Age UK's Advice and Information Service can give you general advice about how to keep warm (contact details at the bottom of this page).

Utility suppliers' Priority Service Register for vulnerable people 

Utility companies offer a Priority Services Register for customers that require extra support and additional services (vulnerable people). 

You can sign up to this service register if you are:

  • a pensioner
  • disabled or chronically sick
  • have a hearing or visual impairment

When on the register you can get the following support:

  • free advice on being more energy-efficient
  • protection from cold callers with a password protection scheme to keep you safe
  • your meter moved free of charge if it's hard for you to use or read the meter
  • a free quarterly meter reading if you can't read your meter
  • bills sent to a relative, carer or friend to help you check them
  • your bills and meter readings in a braille, large print, audio tape, textphone or typetalk if you're visually impaired
  • advance notice if your supply is going to be interrupted
  • priority reconnection if your supply is interrupted
  • alternative facilities for cooking and heating if your supply is interrupted
  • extra help to use your meter or appliances
  • annual gas safety checks

Free gas safety checks

You may also be eligible for a free gas safety check, for this you must own your home and get a means tested benefit such as Pension Credit or Income Support. Also, one of the following must apply:

  • you live alone
  • you live with other adults who are aged over 60, disabled and or chronically sick
  • you live with at least one other child under five

How to sign up to the Priority Services Register

British Gas - 0800 072 8625, or 0800 294 8604.   Lines open Monday - Friday 0800-2000, and Saturday

Eon - 0345 052 0000, lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.  If you're deaf or have hearing loss, and have access to a Minicom text telephone, you can call Eon free of charge on 0800 056 6560, or you can email 

EDF - Fill out the online Priority Services Register form.  Alternatively, you can call 0800 269 450 or minicom 0800 096 2929 

Npower - Apply online or call 0808 172 6999 

United Utilities - Fill out the online Priority Services Register form or call 0345 072 6093 or webchat.

Useful contacts

Age UK Blackburn with Darwen
Address: 4 King Street, Blackburn
Phone: 01254 266620
Fax: 01254 266621

Age UK (Darwen)
Address: Darwen Town Hall, Croft Street, Darwen
Phone: (01254) 773440

If you are still unsure the Adult Social Care Team will be able to advise you. You can contact them from 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 01254 587547.

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