Funds are being made available to boost projects which raise awareness of services to tackle fuel poverty.
Projects which may benefit include those raising awareness of services such as the county council’s free Winter Home Check service, and those offering practical help such as re-programming heating and hot water timers.
Money may also be given to projects providing activities such as social clubs and lunch clubs, and those offering advice and support for people on low incomes.
An estimated 21,500 – or one in ten – households in East Sussex is living in fuel poverty, where they can’t afford to heat their home to the standard recommended to help maintain good health and wellbeing.
To combat the problem East Sussex County Council is working with Sussex Community Foundation to launch the East Sussex Stay Well This Winter Fund.
The deadline for applications for grants of up to £5,000 is Friday, October 7, and projects awarded funding must deliver the work by the end of March 2017.
More information and details of how to apply are available online at www.sussexgiving.org.uk/staywell.
East Sussex acting director of public health, Cynthia Lyons, said: “It’s important for people in vulnerable groups to be prepared for cold weather.
“Living in a cold home can exacerbate underlying health issues such as breathing problems, heart conditions or risk of a stroke – and can even be fatal.
“The fund will allow local groups and charities to play a greater role in supporting older and vulnerable people to stay warm at home.”
People can stay safe in cold weather by keeping their home heated to at least 18C (64F), having hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day, staying active and wearing lots of thin layers.
Kevin Richmond, chief executive of Sussex Community Foundation, said: “We have ten years’ experience of funding groups tackling issues such as fuel poverty, and worked with the council on our Surviving Winter campaign a few years ago.
“There are many people in the county who struggle to keep warm in the winter and local charities are an invaluable source of help for them.”
The East Sussex Stay Well This Winter Fund forms part of the East Sussex Energy Partnership’s wider programme of action to tackle fuel poverty.
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