RAY launches new project helping Craven communities prepare for winter weather

A new Rural Action Yotrkshire project has been launched to call on community leaders across parts of rural Yorkshire to take action in the fight against fuel poverty this winter. The Craven Winter Weather project aims to support more vulnerable residents to stay warm, stay well and keep healthy in the face of the cold weather.

The epidemic of fuel poverty has garnered significant attention in recent months and more so with the imminent onset of winter. It is high on the list of concerns for vulnerable residents across rural and isolated parts of Yorkshire with an estimated 26,229 homes living below the warmth breadline, according to a recent report.

RAY is offering a range of support to community groups and individuals in the Craven District and parts of rural Bradford, including the opportunity to hear more about emergency planning for rural communities and sessions for older people on reducing energy costs and staying warm. The project is aimed at community leaders with a passion for improving the quality of life for their neighbours, friends and families and also those individuals who may be struggling through winter in cold homes.

An inaugural event is planned for Wednesday 10 December at 1pm at Grassington Institute in Grassington, where residents will have the chance to focus on personal resilience and supporting vulnerable people in their communities through fuel poverty, keeping warm and saving energy. There will also be a practical session around preparing for flooding and severe winter weather such as snow and ice, delivered by Robin Derry, Senior Emergency Planner at North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).

The project is kindly funded by NYCC and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group as part of the Innovation Fund.

Tina Chamberlain, Policy and Partnerships Manager at RAY, is keen to stress the important of the work. RAY is active across Yorkshire in the fight against fuel poverty, in raising awareness of the problem, and in alleviating the isolation of sufferers.

She said, “Support to vulnerable and older people at this time of year is even more in the spotlight as colder weather can impact on mood and quality of life. Many are faced with a ‘heat or eat’ scenario where they are forced to choose between eating well or staying warm, which can lead in some cases to social isolation, depression and even death. At this event, we will look at ways to alleviate these problems, and discuss what else can be done to identify and support the most vulnerable in our society.

“RAY is keen to hear from residents in and around Craven who may be struggling or need some more advice this winter, and any others interested in being involved.”

To find out more about the project call RAY on 0845 313 0270.