Winter Wellbeing

Keep well this winter 

This year's Winter Wellbeing campaign is launching on 3 November 2017.

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Are you in poor health or at risk of ill health, or with underlying health issues? Are you caring for a vulnerable person and / or worried about your home being cold or damp?

Is it affecting your health? If so, then Winter Wellbeing can help.

For advice and access to services provided by the programme’s 30 partner organisations, call Freephone 0800 954 1956.

The Winter Wellbeing programme offers access to a range of services to help you stay warm and well this winter, including:

  • Independent energy advice tailored to your individual needs. This includes home visits and follow-up support
  • Access to heating and insulation grants
  • Providing practical advice on understanding and reducing your energy bills and combatting condensation and damp
  • Support for families with children if they have additional needs
  • Confidential advice on parenting
  • Debt advice
  • Benefits advice
  • Health information

Our Winter Wellbeing Guides and Top Tips for Staying Warm and Well This Winter are packed with useful advice and information about staying warm, keeping well and being happy and safe this winter.

Paper copies are available from:

  • Council One Stop Shops
  • NHS premises
  • libraries and
  • many other sources, including all the partners listed below. 

Please see the Winter Wellness Process that outlines how we work. 

You can contact the Community Energy Plus helpline on Freephone 0800 954 1956. Alternatively you can email them at advice@cep.org.uk for further information and advice.

This is the seventh year of running Winter Wellness project.

Winter Wellness is funded by:

  • Public Health
  • Inclusion Cornwall
  • Council of the Isles of Scilly
  • NHS Kernow and
  • Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF)

Over 30 partners worked together to deliver common outcomes of:

  • reducing fuel poverty
  • improving health and
  • progress to work

In Cornwall fuel poverty affects 14% of all households and in Isles of Scilly it is 22% (DECC Fuel Poverty statistics), both above England average of 10%

Download Key highlights from the 2016/2017 Winter Wellness campaign.

Since 2011/12, Winter Wellness has helped the following stay warm, well and safe during Winter :

  • 7,400 households (16,700 people - *based on average household size of 2.27 per home);
  • 818 hospital admissions prevented;
  • 1,450 households helped by Winter Wellness Emergency Fund (Inclusion Cornwall Hub ) – electric, gas, heating oil and logs/coal to stay warm;
  • 348 households remain in work and progress towards work.
  • 297 households receive £102,000 of extra income through:
    • Discretionary Housing Payments
    • Crisis and Care Awards and/or
    • help with Council Tax
  • since 2015.  

Last Winter, Winter Wellness helped 1,400 households.  Key highlights include:

  • 1,439 called the Freephone (run by Community Energy Plus (CEP) for help;
  • 444 referred to other partners for assistance;
  • 797 received energy advice (to use their heating systems better);
  • 254 households assisted by Winter Wellness Emergency Fund;
  • 700 households helped by Cornwall Rural Community Charity and CEP Plus. Offered advice, benefits and information
  • 25 helped by Plymouth Energy Community with energy debts
  • 198 had Smart Warmth assistance through (CEP).

Wider health benefits included:

  • NHS saved £61,000 based on 63 hospital admissions prevented -£1 Winter Wellness saved NHS £3.15;
  • Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF) granted £2,500 - £1 CCF generated £2.44 of extra income for vulnerable householders to stay warm and well;
  • Winter Wellness, helped 59 (23% of Emergency Fund) customers to receive * Crisis and Care, Council Tax help and Discretionary Housing Payments helping to improve their health and wellbeing – more income and reduce their money worries. 
  • 318 homes (including 5 on Isles of Scilly) had first time central heating installed through £2.3m Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Central Heating Fund to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, young and old.  

Dr Caroline Court, Interim Director of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Wellbeing and Public Health team said

“It’s Fantastic to see first-hand that residents are benefitting from being able to stay warm and well, which is improving their health and wellbeing.   

“One of the residents is so happy that she no longer has to worry about putting £10 on the key meter. Instead of going to the local shop to do this in the wind and rain with her child she can now just turn on the heating and its warm.”  

The following services can assist with energy debts

Fuel Shelter - Shelter (Bristol), backed by British Gas Energy Trust and households in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are eligible.

Please email the service: Fuel_Bristol@shelter.org.uk or call Public Health (01872) 327977

The principle aim is to help those in fuel poverty, regardless of utility supplier or reason for being in this position.  

Shelter will:

  • work with customers to immediately address issues with benefits;
  • apply for Debt Relief Orders, help with Bankruptcy and advice on other debt options;
  • agree re-payment plans with Creditors, both priority and non-priority debts;
  • agree re-payment plans with Landlords;
  • offer Energy Efficiency Advice;
  • submit grant applications for household goods, further assistance payment and utility arrears;
  • enforce Landlord disrepair responsibilities
To contact Shelter please have your name, address, contact details, date of birth and national insurance number and a brief outlines of the issue requiring help with.    

Plymouth Energy Community (covers Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, funded by Energy Trust Grants

The Fuel Debt Service was set up in June 2014 and have helped to clear over £200,000 (*August 2016) of energy (gas and electric) arrears in two years.

Please visit the Plymouth energy community website.  If you would like to use the service please call 01752 477177.

“Yes, customer A has been awarded both DHP and Exceptional Relief.  Along with your support for fuel, this has made a massive difference to him and he is over the moon. There was huge pressure on him financially and he was struggling to keep his head above water but he now feels that he is able to cope….”

Cold weather and homes are responsible for around 300 seasonal winter deaths a year in Cornwall.  Fuel poverty runs at 14.2% of households locally, meaning that 36,000 homes are in fuel poverty (according to the latest BEIS fuel poverty staistics).  Winter and cold weather nationally costs the NHS about £1.1bn.  Campaigns like Winter Wellness are instrumental in preventing real hardship.

Choose Well Campaign

The Choose Well Campaign helps people get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. You can find the relevant healthcare services for your needs and to help keep the Emergency Department free, for those who really need it. To find out more, go to the Choose Well page on NHS Kernow's website, with tips, advice and easy read information on what to do if you fall ill.

Care and Support in Cornwall

The Cornwall Care and Support Directory gives information and lists details of providers of support at home, leisure activities, getting around, health and wellbeing, work, learning and volunteering, advice, information and money matters, staying safe, caring for someone and housing and care homes. It also includes a 'What's On' section which lists events, activities and courses happening in your area.

If you would like to find out what local help or support is available to you, go to the Cornwall Care and Support Directory and get searching!

Cold Weather Plan

The Cold Weather Plan gives advice on preparation for the effects of winter weather on people's health. This is produced by Public Health England - look at the Cold Weather Plan for England to find out more.

"Fuel poverty is a long standing health issue: the impact of cold housing on health and the stresses brought on by living in fuel poverty have been recognised for decades by researchers, medical professionals and policy makers alike. At the same time, it is an issue that often gets dismissed as the 'tough nature of things' because our housing stock is old and cold housing is so widespread that many have come to regard it as a normal state of affairs. It should not be so. Cold housing and fuel poverty can be successfully tackled through policies and interventions if there is a will to do so. There is a social gradient in fuel poverty: the lower your income the more likely you are to be at risk of fuel poverty.