A newly-established social enterprise has teamed up with Northamptonshire County Council to give businesses the chance to join a campaign to keep elderly people safe and warm this winter.
Businesses can help sponsor a state-of-the-art digital thermometer, called Tom, to be delivered to 1,000 people’s homes as part of the wider ‘Wrapped Up’ campaign, backed by Age UK and Northamptonshire County Council.
The gadget’s easy to read screen alerts the user when the temperature has dropped to harmful levels, reminding pensioners to turn up the heating or put on an extra layer of clothing.
Between 16C and 18C it will flash every six seconds with the word ‘COOL’ displayed. If the temperature drops below 16C, which can cause serious risk to health, Tom will flash blue every three seconds and display the word ‘COLD’.
The display will read ‘OK’ or ‘GOOD’ if the room is at, or higher than, the optimal 21C
Simon Parslow, director of Daventry-based Target Holdings which produces Tom, said: “With the cold snap approaching, all of us need to take greater responsibility for looking out for our loved ones, ensuring their homes are warm and they are protected against the winter chill.
“We have teamed up with the ‘Wrapped Up’ campaign to offer our digital thermometers as part of the package people receive. Businesses are already coming on board to be sponsors, helping protect the most vulnerable people in our community this winter.”
A £200 sponsorship package allows local businesses to help 10 families receive support and assistance with cold weather planning, including access to Age UK’s helpline, and they would be supplied with their very own ‘Tom’ free of charge.
Mr Parslow added: “We have been delighted with the tremendous support we have received so far, with a number of businesses already signing up. It’s a perfect way for firms to give something back to local people and make a real difference this winter.”
Research from charity Age UK and the Office of National Statistics shows that approximately 27,000 extra deaths are reported each winter, 90 per cent of which are older people.
Tom has been developed to encourage discussion and stimulate awareness of the problems caused when cold weather bites, particularly with pensioners reluctant to turn up their heating due to concerns about rising energy bills.
For more information about getting involved with the ‘Wrapped Up’ campaign call Simon Parslow on 01327 301950 or visit www.howstom.co.uk/corporate