Healthy Homes – Healthy People
Led by Jo Seymour - Project Manager, Warm Wales
Our work started in Flintshire, where it was identified that too many children are living in cold, damp and unsafe private rented homes that are affecting their health and wellbeing.
Latest figures show that 12% (155,000) of households are in fuel poverty spending more than 10% of income on fuel costs. This equates to 36,000 in the private rented sector. Cold homes can result in increased death and illness along with social isolation, stress and worry about heating bills and debt. 10% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to fuel poverty.
Damp or mouldy homes increases respiratory problems by 30-50%, mainly in children. Unsuitable homes linked to overcrowding can lead to increased stress, alcohol abuse and depression (PHW, CHC and BRE 2019).
“10% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to fuel poverty”
At the start we were working with Domestic Energy Efficiency Project team from Flintshire Council, Care and Repair North East Wales, Environmental Health, Health Visitors, Housing Support and five GP practices. We have now expanded our delivery and are working with Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy local authorities, other third sector organisations such as Ground Work North Wales, FDF other Care and Repairs, Fire Service, Flintshire and Denbighshire Voluntary Councils.
Many residents have been supported through the Healthy Homes Healthy People model, which aims to tackle fuel poverty, reduce health inequalities and improve wellbeing.
The success of our initial work has enabled us to expand to cover the whole of North Wales – we have engaged with nearly 3,400 households since November 2017 and supported nearly 1,400 to secure savings from tariff switching, water support, debt reduction and installation measures such as central heating systems. Together with other work to reduce slips, trips and falls and provide carbon monoxide detectors, savings of over £830,000 have been achieved.
Impact of Covid
Through our work and during the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen a much greater demand for our services.
We have now joined together with the Health Board on a social prescribing project which also forms a 2025 JDT and identified a GP practice in Flintshire to use a social prescribing platform from tech for good company, Elemental Software, to enable anyone struggling with fuel poverty to be referred for our support.
We will be working to continue this service by bidding for funding from the National Lottery and Energy Redress Fund.
Moving forward we are also keen to develop better links to hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.