Norwich MP helps vulnerable fight the freeze

Elderly and vulnerable people caught in chilly winter conditions around the city were the focus of a new campaign looking to fight the freeze and even save lives.

Norfolk North MP Chloe Smith was at Asda on Drayton High Road, Hellesdon yesterday as part of her Warm Up For Winter campaign, which offers advice to people on how best to fight off the cold in the coming months.

Working alongside Broadland District Council, she held an open surgery from 10am till noon and described the response as 'very positive.'

Miss Smith said: 'It was really successful, and a lot of people were extremely interested in the information we had available and I was glad they found it helpful.

'It was also positive to work alongside the council and have Age UK provide literature.'

The campaign was launched last month, with Miss Smith working alongside local groups including churches and the Norwich Foodbank, to help tackle a problem which during the winter of 2009-2010 is estimated to have killed 25,000 elderly people in Britain.

Miss Smith, a junior minister in the Treasury, said that over the course of the surgery information on energy bill cutting measures had attracted the most attention.

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She added: 'No one should face the choice between food and fuel. Too many of the elderly and vulnerable in our community suffer in the cold weather. This winter, it does not have to be that way.

'If you have any questions about the help available to the elderly or vulnerable during the winter, please do come and see me at the surgery. I will have information on the financial assistance available as well as lots of practical and simple tips for keeping warm.'

Her next surgery will be at St George's Church on Sprowston Road on December 4 at 11.30am as part of the advent fair.

•Are you set to battle the bad weather? Contact John Owens on 01603 772439 or email john.owens@archant.co.uk.

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