GALLERY: Wisbech electric blankets exchange proves a resounding success
15:30 23 January 2014
Thirty-five people exchanged their old electric blankets for free new ones at an event yesterday.
The Golden Age event was so popular people were queueing at the Oasis Community Centre, Wisbech, before the start of the event and by the end more than 80 people had attended.
As well as getting new blankets, they were given advice on fire safety and ways to save energy in the home.
Eleven people had mini health checks and two people were helped to identify benefits totalling more than £2,000 to which they were entitled.
Eight people arranged for free home visits from Age UK Cambridgeshire to assess their energy use.
The event was organised by Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue and Age UK Cambridgeshire.
Fenland Council and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue each provided £1,000 to pay for the new electric blankets, with an extra £500 coming from the Fenland Youth District Council.
The council has arranged for the replaced blankets, minus their electric leads, to be donated to Wood Green Animal Shelter.
Councillor Steve Garratt, Fenland District Council’s cabinet member responsible for Golden Age, said: “It has been a fantastic success all round.
“The blanket exchange has been a big draw but everyone who has come has had a good time and got all sorts of other help as well. “Being able to help the animal shelter is a nice bonus.”
Graham Clare, one of Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue’s volunteer community champions, said: “Electric blankets are like old friends that people don’t like parting with but we know that many are unsafe, so today has been really worthwhile.
“On top of the blankets, we’re arranging for six people to have smoke alarms fitted, we’ve given out lots of fire safety leaflets and explained the importance of checking fire alarms every week.
“It’s all about keeping people out of danger, so it’s been a really good day.”
Age UK Cambridgeshire has a special phone line, 0300 666 9860, for people over 60 who need someone to talk to.