WITH approximately 200 borough people dying each year from being too cold in their home, residents are being urged to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours and family members during the chilly weather.

Dudley Council’s winter warmth scheme is advising residents to keep an eye on older and vulnerable people in the community, to make sure they are warm at home and well stocked up on food and medications.

Offers of help could also include clearing pathways of snow or ice, helping with shopping or simply popping in to see them.

Councillor Steve Waltho, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Our winter warmth scheme offers a range of support to help people keep their homes and themselves warm. Residents can help us by referring anyone at risk to the scheme and by working together can avoid the real problem of isolation and winter deaths.”

An average of up to 200 borough residents die each year as a result of being too cold in their home.

And older people, babies, young children and people with long term health conditions, such as serious respiratory illnesses and heart and circulation problems, are also at risk.

Anyone concerned about keeping their home warm, struggling with paying their fuel bills or worried about keeping well at home during the winter can also ask for help from the scheme.

The project, run by Dudley Council in partnership with NHS Dudley, can arrange for local volunteers to make regular ‘befriending’ checks on people who may be at risk of becoming isolated during cold weather. They can help out with shopping trips, collecting prescriptions, dog walking or helping with transport.

For further information contact the winter warmth helpline on 01384 817086.