A SCHEME has been launched to help residents in need of assistance to stay warm this winter.

Flintshire Council has established a new crisis fund for people who cannot afford to heat their homes and need immediate support.

The scheme works in conjunction with existing schemes acting as a safety net so that if people fail to qualify for some schemes, they can still get help if they have a genuine need.

Estimates show that 30 per cent of homes in Wales are in fuel poverty meaning that they need to spend 10 per cent of their income to heat the home adequately.

Councillor Chris Bithell said: “Making sure that all residents can keep warm this winter is a top priority for Flintshire Council.

"This new fund will assist people when they most need it, help to coordinate services and ensure that everyone can access the help they need to stay warm and safe in their home.”

Residents benefitting from the programme include Ronald Bray of Garden City, who was able to benefit from a new boiler when he found himself unable to repair or replace it on his own.

The council was able to obtain a contribution through the Energy Company Obligation, a further amount through the Welsh Procurement Alliance Community Foundation Wales and the balance was funded through the new crisis fund.

Mr Bray said: “The scheme is excellent. It’s made a lot of difference to me.

"With the onset of winter coming, I feel more secure now that the heating will work.”

For more information, contact the council’s Domestic Energy Efficiency Project Team on 01352 703443 or e-mail deepadmin@flintshire.gov.uk