The Borough Mayor of Wokingham has issued an impassioned plea to be a Winter Friend and look after isolated and vulnerable people during the cold weather, combating lonelines at the same time. Her plea was echoed by Reading East MP Rob Wilson.
The pair were speaking at the Woodley Winter Extravaganza, held in the town centre on Sunday, December 8.
Addressing the crowd during her opening remarks, Cllr UllaKarin Clark reminded people of the pledge made by participants of Wokingham’s Winter Friends scheme: “I will take time out this winter to look in on a family member, friend or neighbour to make sure they are keeping warm and well”.
Every winter, 24,000 elderly people die in England and Wales. The Pledge website reveals that older people who live alone are more likely to become isolated in the winter and particularly when the weather gets bad. It is difficult to get out and about during the cold weather and for friends and family members to get to them.
In her speech she said: “I want to remind you of the Winter Pledge organised by Wokingham Borough Council, Optalis and The Link Visiting Scheme.
“The Pledge is about taking responsibility for our elderly neighbours to make sure they have all their needs. You can find the pledge on the website. Please sign the pledge.”
Those signing the Pledge agree to look in on your friend, family member or neighbour this winter, especially during the cold spells.
Rob Wilson, who spoke after Cllr Clark, echoed her words.
He said: “[At Christmas, some people] find it a lonely and isolating time. Please remember not everyone has a great time.”
To find out more about the Wokingham Winter Friends scheme and to sign the pledge, visit its website or call 0776 621 4886.