Our Warm Homes Healthy People project aims to support families with children with energy costs and heating a home.
Northern Gas Networks
The most recent government fuel poverty statistics released on 24th February 2022 show that 20% of households with children are in fuel poverty (1.27 million homes). For single parent households this figure rises to 26.5%. These figures are for 2020 so do not reflect the 54% increase in energy prices on 1st April, when the price cap rose to £1,971. From this point, it has been estimated that 2.2 million households with dependent children are now in fuel poverty (one-third).
It is clear there will be significant challenges around heating homes over winter 2022/23. This could have knock-on health impacts for children as research has shown that cold homes:
• Double the likelihood of children having respiratory problems
• Cause slower weight gain in babies and infants, higher hospital admission rates and an increase in asthmatic symptoms.
• Increase the likelihood that children will develop mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as experience physical health conditions, all of which can impact on learning attendance at school and educational attainment.
Through this project we can offer 1-2-1 advice to households with children, training for staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable and families, and talks/awareness events for households.
So far we have provided training to 108 staff members from Children and Families Services at both North Yorkshire County Council and Hull City Council, as well as staff and volunteers from HomeStart Leeds. We have also presented to the BASW (British Association of Social Workers) North Yorkshire branch and are a guest panel member for the BASW England conference on 21st October 2022.
We will also be running slow cooker demonstration workshops across all 7 districts of North Yorkshire during winter 2022/23 to explain the benefits of slow cookers, provide inspiration and tips around recipe ideas, and offer energy saving advice. Families will be a priority group for this initiative.