Warm up this winter with AWARM Plus

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image of someone putting their feet up in front of a blazing fire

As the first frosts of the winter have already fallen, now is the perfect time to think about keeping warm.

Many people across the borough could benefit from support such as a free new central heating systems through Wigan Council’s AWARM Plus programme.

The offer is part of the Greater Manchester Warm Homes Fund, which will install fully funded ‘first-time’ central heating systems to 500 homes across the area on a first come first served basis.

It will help households that are in fuel poverty and find it hard to keep warm in winter.

Linda Clarke, from Hindley, is one of the first people to benefit from the scheme and praised the quick service which was fitted in one day with little fuss.

She said: “We saw the scheme advertised in the Wigan Observer and got in touch. Someone came out and had a look at the heating we already had, which was just a couple of electric radiators. We found out we were eligible and they came to do a survey then rolled up on time and did a brilliant job.

“They had tided everything up and left no mess. Everything was done when they said they would, there were no delays and I can’t fault them at all.

“I know many people are bothered about letting people in their home and think they are going to turn my house upside down, but they did it so cleanly and quickly.”

Now they are enjoying all the benefits of a new heating system just in time for the cold weather.

“It’s been marvellous,” added Mrs Clarke. “We had an old boiler which had been here for 20 to 30 years.  We’ve lived here for 40 years, it’s just one of those things we’ve never got round to sorting it before. It’s such a difference now coming home and just turning the heating on. Our water pressure is so much better too now.”

The Greater Manchester scheme is open to owner occupies and private tenants who have their landlord’s permission who meet the eligibility criteria.

There is also a wide range of support for anyone who is living in a cold house or feels they might struggle to afford to heat their home from the AWARM Plus programme.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, deputy leader at Wigan Council, said: “Living in a cold home carries a number of health risks including flu and more serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke and also depression. I would urge anyone who is struggling to stay warm to check if you are eligible for the scheme.”

The £1.8 million funding for the scheme has been secured by GMCA and the local authorities from the nationwide Warm Homes Fund. This has been established by National Grid to help eradicate fuel poverty in the UK and it is administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions

The scheme is set to run throughout 2018-19 but will close to new applications once all the funds have been allocated so qualifying households are encouraged to apply without delay.

To find out if you could benefit from free central heating or other help towards keeping your home visit www.wigan.gov.uk/warmhomes or call AWARM Plus on 01942 239360.