The local authority’s safe and healthy homes team provides advice to help residents fix housing issues that could affect their health.
It includes issues like heating problems and energy bills, damp and mould, home safety to prevent accidents, and repairs and general maintenance.
And recently, the team helped North Tyneside resident Mr Pagden, 72, who has Parkinson’s disease, after he was referred to them by a social worker who was worried that the condition of his home was causing health problems.
The lack of proper central heating and the condition of electrics were thought to be making his respiratory problem worse.
To help, the safe and healthy homes team arranged for an electrician registered with the council to fix dangerous exposed light fittings, and also arranged for the boiler to be completely replaced at no cost by North Tyneside Warm Zone.
Since then, the social care service is no longer involved, the ambulance service is not being called out and Mr Pagden has not needed to see his GP as often.
Speaking after the work was carried out, Mr Pagden said: “I am very happy now; I can continue living in my own home and I am quite independent. I feel a lot better and my house is lovely and warm. The safe and healthy homes team did a wonderful job.”
Cllr John Stirling, cabinet member for Environment added: “I’m really pleased that we’re able to help our residents in such an important way, especially now the colder weather is setting in.
“As well as training our staff to spot the signs of fuel poverty, a local partnership is also training frontline emergency service staff, too. Together, we are working really hard to improve the health of our residents.
“No one should be living in fuel poverty, and it’s extremely worrying that people’s health could be suffering. I would urge members of the public to contact the team via email, over the phone or call into a drop-in event if they need our help or know of someone who does.
The training has been supported by the Green North Tyneside Board, which brings together different public services, businesses and the voluntary and community sector to help to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint.
The safe and healthy homes team will be out and about this autumn – anyone is welcome to drop by for a chat and to find out more, and no appointment is needed:
- Wallsend Customer First Centre: October 26 and 28, 10am to 3pm
- Oxford Centre, Longbenton as part of Keep Warm, Keep Well, Keep Active:October 28 10am to 3pm
- North Shields Customer First Centre: November 2 and 4, 10am to 3pm
- Whitley Bay Customer First Centre: November 17, 10am to 2pm.
For more information, call: (0191) 643 7585 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team can help those who own, or privately rent their home, and the level of support available will depend on individual circumstances. Social housing tenants are asked to contact their housing provider.