Older and vulnerable people in Wiltshire are being encouraged to get in touch with the British Red Cross for practical help and information on staying warm and healthy this winter.

The Red Cross has set up a dedicated telephone hotline: 0117 3012611 so people can arrange a free Healthy Homes Assessment as part of a project funded by the Department of Health taking place from now until the end of March.

The friendly one-hour visit by a trained staff member or volunteer is aimed at improving the safety and well-being of people this winter by giving information on staying warm, falls and fire prevention and tackling social isolation.

Each person visited will also receive a free Healthy Homes pack containing essentials for coping with the winter weather, power cuts and other home issues and an information pack with details of other agencies, advice services and grants people may be eligible for.

Anyone living in Wiltshire who thinks they might benefit can get in touch, regardless of age. People can contact the Red Cross directly but relatives, friends or neighbours can also get in touch on someone’s behalf.

Heather Lowe, Red Cross development manager for health and social care in Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, said: “Winter is a tough time for many older and vulnerable people, particularly those living alone or struggling to get by on a pension or low income.

“The Healthy Homes project aims to address some of the common issues people face, such as how to stay warm during the winter months, avoiding accidents such as falls and fires and reducing loneliness.

“If you think we could help you, please get in touch. We’d also encourage people to think about relatives, friends and neighbours who might benefit and ask them if it’s ok to call on their behalf. Our staff and volunteers will deal sensitively with everyone who makes contact.”

For more information or to arrange a visit call 0117 3012611 or email H&SCWAG@redcross.org.uk, putting ‘Healthy Homes’ in the subject line.

For more information about the Red Cross please visit redcross.org.uk