MORE vulnerable people will be kept warm and healthy over the winter months thanks to a new Middlesbrough initiative.

The Comfy and Cosy in Middlesbrough project has been created by the town’s Affordable Warmth Group, which was recently awarded a Department of Health £90,000 grant.

The initiative, developed in partnership with Middlesbrough Council, NHS Middlesbrough and representatives from the private, voluntary and community sectors, aims to improve the health and well-being of the town’s most vulnerable residents during winter.

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Advice and emergency support including minor boiler repairs, emergency snow cleaning and a hot meals drop-in service will be on offer as part of the project.

An associated marketing campaign to raise awareness of the issues will be run and community action will be encouraged in order to keep avoidable winter deaths at a minimum.

Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: "These are unprecedented economic times, with fuel prices soaring and household budgets under increasing pressure.

“The dangers of cold weather, particularly to the most vulnerable in society, are very real – the Comfy and Cosy in Middlesbrough initiative has the potential to save lives.”