Sian launches lifesaving campaign

Published: 14 December 2015

A campaign to save lives in Wandsworth this winter has been officially launched by Channel 5 weather presenter Sian Welby.

The Winter Warmer campaign is being run by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, in partnership with the council’s public health department, Age UK Wandsworth, Wandsworth police and fire services and backed by the Wimbledon Foundation. It aims to reach over 600 vulnerable older and disabled people

People will be offered advice and support, and volunteers are handing out warmer packs containing soup, blankets, scarves, gloves and duvets to vulnerable, older and disabled people in the community – some of whom will be spending Christmas alone.

Emergency services have also been lending their support and local firefighters and police have been delivering packs to get as many out to vulnerable people as possible before the chill bites.

The campaign will also involve the Bluebell Café, Hindu Society, Balham Community Centre, Lambeth Chinese Community Association and the Latchmere Leisure Centre.

Sian Welby launching the Winter Warmer campaign this week said

"Despite it seeming like a mild Christmas in the capital this year, it only takes temperatures to drop by a few degrees for it to affect the elderly and vulnerable. When talking to a representative from LCD I was shocked to realise that most of the call outs and problems occur when the temperatures are between 2-8 degrees. So it doesn't have to be snowy and icy for people to need our help."

Leonard Cheshire Disability Randall Close Resource Centre service manager, William J Gallagher, one of the people leading the campaign, said: “Winter and the cold can be very dangerous for disabled, older and vulnerable people. We are working with Wandsworth Council to save lives.

“We want to reach out to not just the people who use our services but as many people in the community, as we can to let them know we are here to help and can offer free warming packs to those who need them. This campaign is not just charity; it aims to raise awareness of a wider national problem in our society. I urge everyone to look out for and care for those in their communities who may need help at this time of year.”

Wandsworth Council’s spokesman for health and adult social services Jim Maddan said: "Around 100 people die each year in Wandsworth because they are cold and the council is determined to work with our partners to bring this number down. We are targeting areas where numbers are higher to make sure people have the information and support they need to stay healthy and warm.

“I would urge anyone with an elderly friend, relative or neighbour to keep an eye on them this winter so that together we can protect our vulnerable residents.”

If you have blankets, warm clothing or food you would like to donate to the Winter Warmer campaign please call William J Gallagher at Randall Close on (020) 7223 0422.

Read more about the other measures being taken by the council this winter to help keep people warm.

 

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For interviews or photos about the Winter Warmer campaign contact the press office at Leonard Cheshire: 020 3242 0399 or email Theresa.hart@leonardcheshire.org