Council gives out winter warmth packs to older and vulnerable people

By Sarah Edwards

Oxford City Council’s Home Improvement Agency (HIA) is giving out winter warmth packs to older and vulnerable people in Oxford who are struggling to heat their homes.

With cold conditions persisting across the UK, the HIA ordered 100 winter warmth packs and started distributing them to older and vulnerable people in mid–December. The packs contain blankets, hot water bottles, hats, gloves, socks and insulated cups which are given out to vulnerable clients until adequate heating can be restored.

The HIA helps older, disabled and vulnerable people to live safely and independently in their own home. Trained advisers are on hand to help you with all sorts of problems that might affect your home. They offer grants and assistance with repairs and adaptations to help people remain safe and independent. The HIA also offers a handyperson service that can carry out small works to homes at a subsidised rate for eligible home owners and tenants.
The HIA’s range of assistance includes:

· Storage heaters – repair or replacement
· Gas safety works
· Handyperson service – at subsidised rate
· Organising repairs and disabled adaptations
· Boiler servicing, repairs or replacements if needed
· Draught proofing and other small repairs such as insulating pipes and cylinders, and fitting thermostatic radiator valves.
· Free Energy Efficiency surveys carried out by an HIA handyperson

Councillor Mike Rowley, Board Member for Housing, said: “As the cold weather persists across the country, it is absolutely important to ensure that older and vulnerable people struggling to heat their homes are given the assistance they need to keep warm. We have committed additional funds of up to £49,000 to help with heating, such as Gas Safe, Winter Warmth and Essential Repair Grants, and have already helped 56 clients in the city to date.”

The HIA is holding an open morning at Oxford Town Hall in the Long room on Wednesday 31 January at 9am for people who would like to hear more about its services as well as plans to help residents of Oxford. To reserve your free place please email
For free advice and more information on what is available, HIA advisers can be contacted by phone: 01865 252 788, or email: