Free winter warmer packs for those in need across Greater Manchester

Date published: 05 January 2021

The elderly and people living in vulnerable situations across Greater Manchester are being given extra support to stay warm and well during the winter months, thanks to the Cadent Foundation and community action charity, Groundwork.

The Cadent Foundation has granted £40,000 to Groundwork, to create 2,700 winter warmer packs for those most in need. The packs will be distributed via local food banks and community hubs in towns and cities across the UK, including Rochdale.  Each pack contains a range of items to help people keep warm this winter such as socks, gloves, hat, scarf, hot water bottle, blanket, thermal flask mug and energy saving lightbulbs.

Latest ONS figures revealed there were an estimated 28,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2019/20, 19.6% higher than the previous year. Respiratory diseases accounted for almost 40% of all excess winter deaths and according to fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, 8,500 were due to cold homes. 

Graham Duxbury, National Chief Executive of Groundwork, said: “Around 4 million people in the UK are in fuel poverty, unable to afford to live in a warm, dry home. During the cold winter months, people are expected to use 30% more energy on average than they normally would.

“With more people at home, increased utility costs and unemployment rising due to the financial impact of the pandemic, more families will be experiencing extreme financial hardship as well as the emotional strain of keeping themselves and their loved ones well.  

“Fuel poverty is also a major factor in our ability to cope with disease. Living in a dangerously cold home increases the risk of heart attacks, respiratory illness, pneumonia and affects mental health, which means finding cost effective ways of keeping people warm is essential. Small changes can have a big impact and these winter warmer packs - backed up by practical advice from our Green Doctors - will help some of the most vulnerable in our society keep warm and well during the cold weather.” 

Groundwork’s Green Doctors programme provides energy saving advice that helps people to keep warm, well, and save money by reducing energy bills.

Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this grant to Groundwork to provide practical support to those who need it most. Many vulnerable households are facing even bleaker challenges as we head into winter and it’s reassuring to know these packs will help make a real difference at such a difficult time of year.

“This grant is just the first stage in a wider partnership between the Cadent Foundation and Groundwork, which will see the charity’s Green Doctor programme rolled out in numerous locations across the UK in 2021.”

The Cadent Foundation is funded by local gas network Cadent, and has been established to support projects large and small that help people living in vulnerable situations and energy poor communities; protect and preserve the natural environment and support in creating a sustainable energy future for all. 

For more information on Groundwork’s Green Doctors programme, together with tips and advice on keeping your home warm this winter, visit

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