A charity is raising awareness of support available to older people facing problems with the cold.
As part of Cold Homes Week, Age UK North Tyneside is hosting a free information and advice event.
Taking place at the Oxford Centre, West Farm Avenue, Longbenton, on Thursday, February 4, from 9am to 2.30pm, it will inform visitors about a range of practical energy and money saving advice.
Alma Caldwell, chief executive of Age UK North Tyneside, said: “High energy costs coupled with poorly insulated homes is a worry for many people.
“Those who are older and living with a number of health conditions can find it particularly difficult.
“Anyone living in fuel poverty can often be faced with choice between eating or heating their home.
“Doing without either should not be a choice”.
Age UK North Tyneside is providing practical support such as volunteer drivers to help people in the community attend medical appointment; activities to help people keep active and combat isolation; free advice regarding benefits and housing issues; and energy advice looking at switching energy suppliers.
Mrs R, a 94-year-old lady whose boiler was condemned during a routine service .has already benefited from the support.
She could have been left without heating and hot water until a grant provider completed an application form following a survey on her home, a process known to take up to six months.
Within 24 hours, of contacting Age UK North Tyneside, Warmzone was approached for a temporary solution – funding was sourced to purchase two portable heaters.
In addition to this, Mrs R was supported to ensure she had full benefits entitlement which resulted in securing low rate Attendance Allowance at £55.10 per week and eligibility for a higher bracket of means tested benefits, including a severe disability premium through Guaranteed Pension Credit, passporting to full Housing & Council Tax benefit.
In total Mrs R has received a benefit gain of £12,951 per year.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the support available can call Age UK North Tyneside on (0191) 280 8484.