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Residents in Suffolk and Essex urged to look out for each other as cold weather continues

PUBLISHED: 15:42 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:42 01 March 2018

Residents in Suffolk and Essex are being urged to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Residents in Suffolk and Essex are being urged to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Residents across Suffolk and Essex are being urged to check on elderly and vulnerable people in their communities as the cold snap continues to grip the region.

A snow drift on the road to Brightwell.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA snow drift on the road to Brightwell. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Temperatures have struggled to make it above freezing today with the significant wind chill factor making it feel more like -10C in some areas.

The plunging temperatures and snow showers have prompted calls from many authorities and organisations to look out for vulnerable and elderly residents who may be finding life difficult due to the adverse weather.

Jo Reeder, of Age UK Suffolk, said: “In these difficult weather conditions, we would encourage everyone to look out for elderly family members and neighbours.

“If you are popping to the shop, check in and see if they need anything, or perhaps grab extra basic supplies and drop them around to your neighbours, and if you have any concerns, please raise them with the appropriate authorities or give us a call on 01473 351234.”

Age UK Suffolk says heating costs are a big worry to many older residents and can lead to a situation where people ration their heating or cut back on other essentials such as food.

The charity is advising people to keep living rooms heated to at least 21C as well as heating their bedrooms to 18C before going to bed.

Elderly people worried about their heating bills can contact Age UK Suffolk on 01473 351234 to find out about extra government money which may be available to help with winter costs.

Rebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council, also urged people to look out for each other.

She said: “Frontline staff are continuing to provide care to our vulnerable customers.

“Sometimes this means using 4x4s to reach people in the most isolated parts of the county.

“But we’re also asking people to look out for each other, especially any older and vulnerable neighbours you might have.

“Just a knock on the door or phone call might be enough to check they’re ok and have what they need.”

Essex County Council said it was working with partners to reach vulnerable and elderly people.

The authority tweeted: “Our social care teams are out in force across Essex today, working with Rover Rescue, the police and other agencies to reach and support our vulnerable residents.”

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