Affordable Warmth for Health

Affordable warmth for health - British Gas energy trust

The Affordable warmth for health project ran from January 2016 to 2017 and targeted the whole of Argyll & the surrounding islands. The aim of the project was to forge links with the NHS (i.e. Health and Social Care Partnership - HSPC) and provided energy advice; developed and delivered talks and workshops; arranged information stands and advice surgeries in key health-related locations.  Affordable warmth for health specifically targeted NHS, health and social care staff and care workers as research has indicated that fuel poverty is a significant cause of health issues, which ultimately, impacts heavily on the NHS and Community Services budgets and leads to excess winter deaths. The project sought to establish a direct referrals system between primary health and community care professionals for vulnerable fuel poor patients to the AW team for advice and support. In addition Affordable warmth for health enhanced the awareness of the deleterious health effects of fuel poverty via advice surgeries, printed materials and information displays. Connections were made with a number of hospitals, GP surgeries and other primary health care establishments.

Fuel poverty can have a devastating effect on people’s physical and emotional health.  

The indoor environment is a source of health risk factor as most people spend more than 90% of time indoors. Older people, young children and babies are less able to detect temperature changes.
 

18-24°C, the recommended temperature for a living room, known as the comfort zone and has no associated risk.

Below 16°C, increased risk of respiratory disorders

Below 12°C, increased blood pressure and viscosity, puts a strain on the cardiovascular system

Below 9°C, after 2 or more hours, deep body temperature falls, risk of hypothermia


Did you know?

In Britain, a cold spell in winter is followed by;

  • Two days later by a sudden rise in heart attacks
  • Five days later a big rise in the number of strokes
  • Twelve days later a rise in respiratory illnesses

Research suggests that living in cold and damp homes not only increases the number of excess winter deaths but it exacerbates a number of other health conditions, such as influenza; heart disease; strokes; the elderly person’s resistance to respiratory disease (which falls at lower temperatures); high blood pressure (as blood pressure increases at lower temperatures); recovery time from long term illness (as this is also increased at lower temperatures); and children and young people’s respiratory conditions.

Poverty and poor energy efficiency can affect all aspects of family life as shown in the diagram below. Worrying about paying for energy can cause stress, anxiety and depression. Many families today have to make the choice between heating or eating. 

Contact us on 01631 565183 or ENQUIRIES@ALIENERGY.ORG.UK to request a call from an Affordable Warmth Advisor or to enquire about a workshop or talk.

 

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