MP pledges support to life saving scheme

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WENTWORTH and Dearne MP John Healey has helped the fight to save lives by signing up to the Age UK Winter Pledge.

The pledge hopes to reduce the number of people who die unnecessarily during the winter months.

Mr Healey signed up to the initiative after figures revealed more than 24,000 people aged over 65 across the UK died unnecessarily last winter, including 2990 people in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Labour MP said: “We have one of the worst levels of unnecessary winter deaths in Europe – with each day on average over 200 succumbing to the effects of the cold weather.

“The number of older people who do not survive the winter here is far higher than in most European countries, including those where the weather is far colder.

“By signing the Age UK pledge, I am committing to working with the charity to help ensure all older people are prepared for winter by knowing the dangers of cold weather and how they can guard against them.”

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, added: “We are delighted that John Healey MP has joined our fight to reduce excess winter deaths.

“We know that behind these figures lie deep-seated social issues with over five million households living in fuel poverty and one in three older people living in housing that is poorly insulated.”

Through the pledge, Age UK will raise awareness of the dangers to health of cold weather, challenge energy providers to produce simple tariffs to make it easier for people to lower their bills, and promote preventative measures that older people can take before a cold spell.