VULNERABLE people across Sunderland will benefit from a lump sum of Government money which will help them to stay safe and well during winter.
City council chiefs will receive a total of £77,303 from the Warm Homes, Healthy People fund in a bid to assist them in running schemes to help vulnerable people keep warm in the coming winter months and prevent avoidable trips to hospital.
Cabinet Secretary for Sunderland City Council, Councillor Mel Speding, said that the funding will be used to help provide the elderly and vulnerable with winter emergency packs, which include heaters, blankets and food vouchers.
He said: “We welcome this additional funding which will help us develop our existing work with partners to help vulnerable people within our community to stay warmer this winter.
“The Sunderland Warm Homes, Warm Hearts, Warm City project already delivers measures to protect people such as the elderly, and families with young children, and these additional resources will help continue that work.
“We can provide people with help and advice on how to keep their homes warmer through better insulation and energy conservation, and where possible help with improvements to their properties.”
Severe cold weather can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, which account for 40 per cent of excess winter deaths and research has shown that the cost of emergency admissions due to falls on snow and ice was estimated at more than £40million a year.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who unveiled the payments, said: “I want to make the UK one of the best places to live in Europe for older people and that means improving care standards both in our hospitals and in the community.
“This is especially important in the winter, when older and vulnerable people are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, respiratory illnesses can get worse, and there is the risk of falls on slippery ground.
“This funding plays a vital role in helping local authorities and their partners support people in their own homes as well as preventing avoidable illnesses.”