The winter season can be a very cold and lonely place for some of the less fortunate in our community, with the build-up to Christmas a perfect reminder of the impact a small gesture or gift can make to people in difficult situations.
Last year, we were delighted to be able to team up with the Charlton Athletic Community Trust and contribute towards their Stay Warm, Stay Safe campaign – a scheme aimed at supporting residents who may be at risk during the colder months.
The initiative is run on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and provides care to people over 60, young or vulnerable people or anyone having difficulties paying winter fuel bills.
A variety of services are available to those who require them and include energy efficiency assessments, home visits and fuel saving advice.
Our involvement allowed us to donate a large number of oil-filled electric radiators to the Trust who then oversaw their distribution to people across Greenwich and beyond.
Following high levels of demand for these small heating units last year, we have committed to providing CACT with a new consignment of oil-filled radiators which will provide people in our community with a safe, reliable and cost-effective source of warmth.
Additionally, we were keen to find out if there were any other ways in which we could assist the Trust with their work.
Following dialogue with Deb Brown, who heads up the health improvement strand of CACT, it became clear that the cost of fuel was a primary issue for many requiring extra support.
As a result, we have made a cash donation to the Trust which will be used to purchase fuel vouchers for the most vulnerable members of our community.
Ms. Brown explains: “We are delighted to be partnering with Andrews Heat for Hire on this season’s winter warmth programme, Stay Warm Stay Safe.
“Last year the donation of 49 heaters enabled us to support residents who were suffering from a range of issues including boiler break downs and long-term heating and light issues. This season Andrews are continuing to support us with a further 20 heaters and also with fuel and energy vouchers that we provide for people in emergency circumstances. We have a team of passionate and committed staff ready to take these resources into households around the borough when they are in need.
“For example, we worked with a local resident who had a boiler breakdown, so they were cold in their home. With our intervention we provided them with heaters to use in the meantime and advocated on their behalf to ensure they got a new boiler within two weeks.”
Jim Laybourne, group operations support director at Andrews Sykes, explained: “The company prides itself on giving back to the community whenever possible and there is no cause more worthy than one relating to the safety and warmth of people on our doorstep.
“We have a longstanding relationship with the Charlton Athletic Community Trust spanning many years and are very happy to support their programmes in any way we can.
“By endorsing the Stay Warm, Stay Safe message, we can make a difference to the lives of people in the community and help instil a comfortable living environment for those struggling this winter.”