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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.

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

Your Support Your Choice can also help give you advice on keeping warm.

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 2016/17.  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 0845 9 15 15 15.  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.

Free central heating help this winter (updated November 2016)

Local Authorities across Lancashire are working together to provide free central heating for households without it.  Winter and colder weather is on its way, and Blackburn with Darwen Council is part of the scheme to help warm up homes across the borough.   If you are in fuel poverty and need a new boiler and at least two extra radiators you may qualify.

Contact Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) on 03306 061 488 (local rates apply) 9am to 5pm.

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.

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 - 0333 202 4760 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 deaf.contact@eonenergy.com 

EDF - Fill out the online Priority Services Register form: https://www.edfenergy.com/for-home/help-support/priority-services-register  Alternatively, you can call 0800 269 450 or minicom 0800 096 2929 

Npower - Apply online at https://www.npower.com/At_Home/Tactical/WarmResponse/ApplicationStep1.aspx or call 0808 172 6999 

United Utilities - Fill out the online Priority Services Register form: https://www.unitedutilities.com/priority-services-register-form.aspx   Or call 0345 072 6093; or  webchat - http://www.unitedutilities.com/Priorityservices.aspx#

Useful contacts

Age UK Blackburn with Darwen
Address: 4 King Street, Blackburn
Phone: 01254 266620
Fax: 01254 266621
Web: www.ageukbwd.org.uk
Email: enquiries@ageukbwd.org.uk

Age UK (Darwen)
Address: Darwen Town Hall, Croft Street, Darwen
Phone: (01254) 773440
Web: www.ageukbwd.org.uk
Email: enquiries@ageukbwd.org.uk

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.

image of cat on blanket