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Friday 21st October 2016

Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends official launch of npower Health Through Warmth Scheme in Swindon

15th October 2008

A double-decker helping of energy efficiency was on offer today when the Health Through Warmth bus arrived to mark the official launch of the npower Health Through Warmth scheme in Swindon.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown opened the official launch event at the Sir Daniel Gooch Theatre at the Steam Museum, with South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove also on hand to help lead the celebrations.

Since it started earlier this year in partnership with Ridgeway Community Housing Association, Swindon Primary Care Trust and Swindon Borough Council, the scheme has set out to help improve the health, warmth and comfort of vulnerable residents affected by cold and damp related illnesses in households across Swindon. 

The specially converted Health Through Warmth double-decker bus rolled up to help raise awareness of the scheme, the problems faced by vulnerable people and the measures available to them.

The bus has been designed to allow visitors to experience first  hand the cold, damp living conditions which could put the health of vulnerable residents in Swindon at risk this winter, while also demonstrating the measures provided by the scheme to create a healthier, warmer home environment.

The scheme, delivered in partnership with Ridgeway Care and Repair, works by training health and other community workers (including nurses, police and firemen) who carry out home visits to spot the signs of ill-health caused or aggravated by living in cold and damp conditions. The local Health Through Warmth co-ordinator then accesses the most suitable grants or other types of funding, including charities and the dedicated  npower Health Through Warmth Crisis Fund, to ensure homes are properly heated and insulated for eligible clients.

Health Through Warmth aims to improve the quality of life, warmth and comfort levels of vulnerable residents in Swindon whose health is adversely affected by living in homes which are not properly heated or insulated. The scheme can help people of any age whose health is being affected by their living conditions and they do not have to be an npower customer. 

Helen Bonner, Swindon’s Health Through Warmth Co-ordinator, based at Ridgeway Care and Repair Swindon, said: “The Health Through Warmth bus is a fully interactive way to find out more about the scheme, the measures available or how to become a referrer to help identify vulnerable people in the community. By alerting people to the contrast between cold, damp homes and warm, efficiently heated homes, the bus tour will have a positive impact on the health of people in the area.”

Elaine Midwinter, Health Through Warmth scheme manager, said: “Thanks to the support and commitment of all the local partners involved we look forward to making Health Through Warmth in Swindon as successful as it is in other areas of the UK ."  

Since the launch of Health Through Warmth in 2000, the scheme has trained 15,000 referrers, received over 40,000 referrals and accessed more than £32 million of grants and other funds for insulation and heating measures that help create warmer, more comfortable and healthier homes.

Anyone who would like more information about Health Through Warmth in Swindon can call Helen Bonner on 01793 429292 or visit www.healththroughwarmth.com. Information and advice on energy efficiency is also available from Warm Front on 0800 316 2805 and the Energy Savings Trust (EST) on 0800 512 012.


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