Many residents are facing a real struggle to pay fuel bills and stay warm this winter. After the cold weather we were hit with recently, and with the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, it’s a great time to check what support you could receive to help heat your home.
Ealing Council operates schemes which can help cut your fuel bills and make your home warmer. This can include financial help with fuel costs, and even free improvements to boost your home’s energy efficiency rating. And if you’d like to save on heating costs during the day, you can take advantage of the council’s warm spaces scheme.
All residents can make use of the warm and welcoming spaces across our borough. Following a successful scheme last year, the council has once again awarded grants totalling £49,500 to help support a series of venues run by voluntary, community, and faith organisations which offer somewhere cosy and safe where residents can go during the winter. Many community spaces in the borough also offer advice, activities and refreshments.
Councillor Peter Mason is the leader of Ealing Council. Along with Councillor Steve Donnelly, lead member for an inclusive economy, he recently visited the Jasmine Centre in Southall – one of the venues which has received council funding. Run by Creative and Connected Communities, it offers art therapy, crafts, digital support, dance classes, quizzes, music, movies, wellbeing workshops, weekly lunch, and a masala cooking group. But there is no pressure to take part in anything; you can just enjoy a hot drink and some company.
Councillor Mason said: “It’s great to see communities coming together to support each other at our warm spaces. Even if it’s just a cup of tea and a friendly chat, it can make a real difference to people who might otherwise be alone and worried about heating bills.”
Details of local warm spaces available can be found by visiting the Do Something Good website and scrolling down the ‘filter by category’ menu to the ‘warm space’ section.
If your organisation offers a suitable space where residents can stay warm for free this winter (anything from a coffee morning to a keep fit session, and everything in between), you can add it to the Do Something Good database.
Healthy Homes Ealing is a free service that provides extra support for those who may be at risk during the cold weather. It helps to keep residents warm, well, and independent.
Extreme weather can have a detrimental effect on someone’s health. This is particularly the case for the elderly, the very young, or people with a medical condition.
You could be eligible for a ‘green doctor’ home visit, which will provide tailored advice and support and sometimes provide free energy efficiency measures, or items for staying warm or cool. Where necessary, in-depth fuel debt advice can also be given.
Councillor Steve Donnelly, the council’s cabinet member for an inclusive economy, said: “Increasingly, some of our most vulnerable residents are having to choose between eating and heating. If you, or someone you know, could use some help or advice about keeping your home warm, contact Healthy Homes Ealing.”
Call Healthy Homes Ealing on 0800 083 2265 (free) Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm, or use the online referral form. You should also get in touch with the team if you have concerns about a friend or neighbour who is struggling.
When temperatures dropped recently, the national Severe Weather Emergency Protocol was activated. It is triggered during all prolonged periods of sub-zero temperatures and means local authorities like Ealing Council contact all rough sleepers and work to ensure they have a warm, safe place to sleep during cold weather.
There is no reason for anyone to be sleeping rough when it is cold, regardless of their status. If you are concerned about anyone sleeping rough, you can send an alert to our dedicated outreach team via StreetLink.