Posted on behalf of Stafford Borough Council:

Residents in Stafford Borough are being encouraged to contact experts about keeping their homes warm and their bills down – with the cold snap and the potential of snow on the way.

With the cost of living affecting so many people across the country households are being advised to maintain the temperature in their homes at a minimum level to avoid serious respiratory illnesses, like colds and flu, which could add to the pressures already seen on the NHS across the county.

Keeping room temperatures around 18°C, which is the recommended temperature for most households to avoid the risk of serious short and longer-term illnesses is difficult for many households in the borough and with the cold snap forecast for the next few days residents are being urged to contact Warmer Homes Stafford.

Warmer Homes Stafford is a partnership between the borough council and fuel poverty charity, Beat the Cold – with people encouraged to get in touch to find out more about funding and free advice to improve energy efficiency in their homes.

Beat the Cold are a longstanding Staffordshire based charity who provide telephone and face to face help with energy bills through specially trained staff.

And testimonies from people helped by them demonstrate this – with one local woman saying she was made aware of ways she could save on bills adding: “It was lovely to have someone at the other end of the phone who genuinely cared and listened to me.’’  

Stafford Borough Council has also joined forces with a network of venues to create ‘warm spaces’ for residents – with village halls, churches, and community centres available as friendly, inviting places to help local people facing the cost-of-living crisis.

People can find out more about the scheme here.

They are also working with food charities and the Stafford Food Distribution Hub to make more food available to foodbanks across the Borough.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Health, Councillor Jeremy Pert, said: “If this Winter was not challenging enough for residents in the borough, with some having very difficult decisions between heating and eating, this cold snap will make it doubly difficult and I would urge residents to seek the help that they can from someone like Warner Homes Stafford.  

“Equally, the network of Warm Spaces across the Borough is still growing – with room for more to come on board – and they offer not only a warm welcome but also a warm space, warm drink, and warm food. So, if residents have been reticent to visit one so far, they will find somewhere with support and a space to beat the cold snap that’s coming.” 

Residents in the borough can get in touch at 0800 677 1785 or via [email protected]

At the end of 2022 it was estimated that over 6 million households are living in fuel poverty across the UK.