Weather Presenter Backs Lifesaving Campaign

Protecting vulnerable people from the cold

Channel 5 weather presenter and OK! Magazine columnist Sian Welby has backed a lifesaving campaign to protect vulnerable people from the cold in Wandsworth.

The Winter Warmer campaign is being run by the council in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability and other partners on the borough’s Excess Winter Deaths Steering Group. It comes as freezing weather is set to take hold, resulting in sub-zero temperatures and frost.

Every day in the winter months the cold plays a part in the death of one Wandsworth resident. The campaign has been set up to prevent vulnerable people developing serious health problems by offering a lifeline of advice and support to help them to keep warm.

The council’s Public Health department, Leonard Cheshire and Age UK Wandsworth will be putting together gift packs of soup, blankets, scarves, gloves and duvets to keep out the winter chill.

Volunteers will be handing out the packs to older and disabled people in the community – some of whom will be spending Christmas alone.

Sian Welby, who is a supporter of Leonard Cheshire Disability, supported the Winter Warmer campaign last week with a shopping trip to Southside, Wandsworth to gather duvets and blankets for the chilly weather. She said: " As the freezing winter weather is set to hit the capital it is vital disabled and older people take action through the winter warmer campaign to ensure they are well prepared. Wrap up warm with the extra duvets and blankets in the free packs to keep well this winter.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability Randall Close Resource Centre service manager, William J Gallagher, who is campaigning on the issue, said: “Winter and the cold can be very dangerous for disabled, older and vulnerable people. We are working with Wandsworth Council to end this tragedy. We want to reach out to not just the people who use our services but as many people in the community as we can to let them know we are here to help and can offer free warming packs to those who need them.”

Cllr Jim Maddan, Wandsworth Council’s spokesman for adult care and health, said: “We know that more people die in Wandsworth during December to March than we would normally expect, so the council is determined to work with our partners to tackle this problem.

“Our social services teams are calling more than 1,500 vulnerable people to check on them this winter, and we’re helping people get the advice and support they need to stay healthy and warm.

“I would urge anyone with an elderly friend, relative or neighbour to keep an eye on them this winter so that together we can protect our vulnerable residents.”

If you have blankets, warm clothing or food you would like to donate to the Winter Warmer please call William J Gallagher at Randall Close on (020) 7223 0422.

If you are concerned about keeping warm or worried about anyone you know contact WHARF (Wandsworth Housing Adaptations and Repairs Forum) for advice and signposting to other services that can help. Call (020) 8871 7458 or email  

Download the Keep Warm Keep Well leaflet at


December 16, 2014