Search

Norwich Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

Age UK scheme takes winter worries away in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 14:54 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:55 19 January 2015

Snowy conditions in the Crookes area of Sheffield after wild and wintry weather swept the UK, with travellers left stranded as heavy snow covered roads and forced two airports to close. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 27, 2014. See PA story WEATHER Snow. Photo credit should read: Tom White/PA Wire

Snowy conditions in the Crookes area of Sheffield after wild and wintry weather swept the UK, with travellers left stranded as heavy snow covered roads and forced two airports to close. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 27, 2014. See PA story WEATHER Snow. Photo credit should read: Tom White/PA Wire

Archant

With volunteers and elderly people now signing up for a pioneering winter safety scheme, supported by the Norwich Evening News, a woman in her 60s today tells us why she was one of the first to register.

File photo dated 23/02/14 of an elderly man holding his walking stick as around 3.5 million older people are worried they will not be able to stay warm this winter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 12, 2014. An older person dies every seven minutes from cold weather each winter, and those living in the coldest homes are hit most by excess winter death rates and illness, according to Age UK. Every winter, 25,000 older people in England and Wales do not survive the cold, amounting to 206 deaths a day, or one death every seven minutes. See PA story ENERGY Elderly. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA WireFile photo dated 23/02/14 of an elderly man holding his walking stick as around 3.5 million older people are worried they will not be able to stay warm this winter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 12, 2014. An older person dies every seven minutes from cold weather each winter, and those living in the coldest homes are hit most by excess winter death rates and illness, according to Age UK. Every winter, 25,000 older people in England and Wales do not survive the cold, amounting to 206 deaths a day, or one death every seven minutes. See PA story ENERGY Elderly. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Age UK Norwich and Voluntary Norfolk have joined forces with this newspaper and other local employers to launch Cold Weather Friends, a first-time project to ensure that if our streets become icy or snowy, older folk won’t be left trapped.

And a woman who we’ll call Jane – to protect her anonymity – explains why it can be so important.

One day when it was icy, Jane tried to go out to the shops. It wasn’t far, but she knew it was risky.

“Suddenly my legs went from under me,” she says. “And… well, you put your arm out to protect your face, don’t you? The result is... my arm still isn’t right. I can’t carry a bag. I have to use a trolley.”

Ask for help NOW...

-We want lots of people like Jane – anyone who doesn’t already have a relative, friend to help them out – to get on the phone right now. Call Norwich 01603 496333, and ask to be registered.

-Remember that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask.

-Remember that a fall can put you in hospital… and, potentially, take away that independence you value so much.

-Remember that sometimes the way to stay strong and independent is to seek a bit of assistance. You deserve it!

And remember that other people like to help. So you give the volunteer something, too, as helper Hazel Medler (pictured) said in our report last Wednesday.

That fall was in 2010.

“What you have to think about,” Jane said, “Is that as you get older, you don’t heal so quickly. Your bones are more brittle… particularly in the case of women.

“That’s why older people can be particularly nervous of going out when it’s slippery, and why this 
service is so good. I don’t have any family. And there isn’t the same community spirit, these days. I have neighbours, but they’re out at work all day. I don’t see them.”

Jane said: “I think this idea is great. I suffer badly from arthritis so, even in better weather, I have good days and bad days.

“I know quite a few people who could benefit from this scheme, and I will be encouraging them. I’ll be taking the Evening News article up to my luncheon club.”

The plan is that if the weather reaches “Met Office Level Three” – prolonged icy or snowy conditions – a volunteer will phone those who have registered, to check if they have all they need… food, medicine and heating etc. If necessary, someone will pop round with supplies. It’s a simple scheme – and this is the first year it has been tried in Norwich – but already it is proving popular.

Older people are starting to sign up. And employees of local companies including Gasway, plsu NatWest, and this newspaper are offering to help. We only ask that new volunteers, not known to the organising charities, supply two references for the protection of our clients.

If you want the service, or if you want to help, call Age UK Norwich on 01603 496333. Please do it today… before you need it.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists