Cold Snaps, Warm Homes

This project is now closed and this page is being retained for archive and information purposes only. More information about the project can be found on the Project Blog.

Rural Action Yorkshire is seeking three willing Ryedale communities to work with on a new project called “Cold Snaps, Warm Homes”. The project will trial new ways that we can raise awareness of the impact of cold homes on our health and also identify the coldest homes so we are able to offer them additional support. As an added benefit the villages taking part will be able to offer all households a free thermal image of their home to see how much heat they are losing and free advice on how to make your home more energy efficient.

We anticipate this project will be of interest to villages who want to become more environmentally friendly, are keen to support people at risk of health related problems due to a cold home or would like to try new ways to engage residents in working together on a shared project.

So why are we doing this project? 26,000 homes in North Yorkshire are living in fuel poverty, 10% of our population, including 11,000 children. We have an average of 431 excess winter deaths and 3,000 emergency admissions to hospital every year in Yorkshire as a result of cold conditions and fuel poverty. These deaths and hospital admissions are avoidable. However, one of the hardest aspects of supporting people who may be in fuel poverty or at risk from living in a cold house is identifying them in the first place.

We are interested in a whole community approach to solving this issue and our project is designed to initially identify households that are at risk and which may require support - and then offer one to one advice and support to address the issues identified. At the same time it offers the whole village a chance to assess whether their homes are well insulated using the thermal imaging camera pictures.

What would you need to do? We are looking for three village Parish Councils or community groups who would like to get involved. Your role would be to let residents know about the thermal imaging activities and work with RAY to find ways to get local people interested in taking part. The staff at RAY would take the thermal images and print them off. You might choose to send these photos to residents in a letter or hold an event. RAY staff will provide advice and literature on making homes energy efficient and keeping warm, and also provide home visits for the households that were identified as cold and who request extra support. The project is completely funded and the support package is free for the three villages taking part. The funders are Ryedale District Council, the North Yorkshire County Council Public Health team, Northern Gas Networks and the British Gas Energy Trust. We will share information and outcomes from the project with the funders, but never share data or details on the households in the villages we will be working with.

How do you become part of the project? If you would like further information please call the Project Manager, Maggie Farey, on 01904 704177 or 07825 380051. Maggie would be happy to come and meet with interested Parish Councils or groups to explain more. As the pilot is limited to just three communities we encourage you to register your interest as soon as possible.

For the most up to date information on the project, and to see what we've been up to, follow our blog coldsnapwarmhomes.wordpress.com.