Sunday, 26 October 2014 22:50

'Vital' rural role ahead of cold weather

Written by  Ruralcity Media
'Vital' rural role ahead of cold weather

VOLUNTARY and community groups have a vital role in helping rural residents cope with cold weather, says a report.

With winter around the corner, this year's cold weather plan has been published by Public Health England with the Local Government Association and NHS England.

The guide details the practical things communities can do to minimise the risk to public health from cold weather this winter.

It is estimated that there are more than 25,000 excess winter deaths in England every year due to cold weather – many of which are preventable.

The plan provides advice that people can take, before and during the winter, to reduce the risks to public health – both individually and collectively.

"Voluntary and community sector providers that specialise in health and social care are vital and many of these will already be well linked into the health and care system," says the document.

"However, the wider voluntary and community sector can also have an important role to play, particularly for example in reaching vulnerable people not already engaged with statutory services."

Such organisations include community centres, recreational groups, social groups, parish councils in rural areas and neighbourhood forums in urban areas, says the cold weather plan.

"These organisations are much less likely to be linked in with statutory bodies or providers and may need information to understand their role."

LGA community wellbeing board chair Izzi Seccombe said: "Soon the cold weather will be setting in and so it's important to be ahead of the curve and start planning now.

"We need everyone in our communities to be on the look-out for signs that something might be wrong.

Signs that something is amiss may include milk bottles left outside, newspapers stuck in the letterbox or curtains drawn all day.

Councillor Seccombe said: "Any sort of unusual activity could be a sign that something is wrong and that someone is in need of help."

Council teams would soon be on standby to help and would be checking in on elderly and vulnerable residents to make sure they are okay.

  • No comments found

Leave your comments

0 / 500 Character restriction
Your text should be in between 10-500 characters
terms and condition.