Age UK is calling on knitting enthusiasts to support its campaign for warm homes to help older people stay warm and well in the winter.
Knitters across the country are being asked to get their knitting needles clicking to create their own cosy knitted warm houses, which will be exhibited by their local Age UK during Cold Homes Week (2-6 February 2015) .
During Cold Homes Week, Age UK and hundreds of other organisations as part of the Energy Bill Revolution will be calling on MPs to make millions of homes much more energy efficient. Local Age UKs up and down the country will be exhibiting knitted warm homes which have been passionately created by the public; and policy makers from the community will be invited along to discuss the urgent need for warm homes.
Each winter one older person dies every seven minutes from cold weather and many older people become seriously ill due to living in a cold home. These deaths could be prevented if everyone lived in a warm home – the UK’s homes could be made much warmer with proper insulation and energy efficiency measures.
The warm homes knitting initiative aims to influence MPs and policy makers in a creative way, showing that people care enough about the issue to spend time knitting a home. Knitters can also use their digital voice by sharing pictures of their knitted homes on Twitter and Facebook, using #warmhomes. The Charity is also offering a prize for the best knitted home, based on presentation, craftsmanship, use of colours and embellishment. For more details on how to be in with a chance of winning a Husqvarna Viking E20 sewing machine, knitters can visit www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk/knit.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: ‘It’s vital for older people to keep warm, both inside and outside their homes in the winter months. Many people don’t realise the cold can cause an increase in the risk of health problems and excess winter deaths, which can be prevented if their homes are warm. One of the most effective ways of ensuring this is to make homes more energy efficient.
‘No older person should be cold in their own home and through our campaign we are urging MPs to make all homes more energy efficient. Reducing the amount of heat lost and energy wasted can make a huge difference to an older person’s health. This is why we are calling on everyone to get involved, get knitting and join our campaign so that we can ensure that older people can stay warm in winter.’
Age UK has produced a leaflet which includes a knitting pattern, information about the campaign for warm homes and how to submit the knitted home to Age UK. These will be available in Age UK shops from Monday 3 November 2014 or can be downloaded from www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk/knit.
People can also find out more by visiting Age UK at The Knitting and Stitching Show 2014. The Charity will be exhibiting on stand N27 at Alexandra Palace in London from 8-12 October and on stand A145 at Harrogate International Centre from 20-23 November.
The campaign for warm homes is part of Age UK’s annual national Spread the Warmth campaign, which aims to keep older people warm during the colder months. Older people and their families can call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 65 65, where they can order a free copy of the ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide which contains a free thermometer and provides tips on staying warm in winter. Alternatively they can visit www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk to download the guide, get more information about Spread the Warmth and find out where their local Age UK office or shop is.
Age UK is calling on people to get behind its Spread the Warmth campaign. People can make a donation simply by calling 0800 169 87 87 or visiting www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk