Winter warmth bundles for cold weather protection

Jonathan Hunt, director of client services, Charis

The cost of living and energy costs are still biting deep for households at risk of fuel poverty. When income is limited, the decision to switch off the heating is often made to ensure that there is food on the table. With less government support this year, and standing charges on the rise, this dilemma is damaging not just to the physical wellbeing of each member of the household, but also to their mental wellbeing too.

To help our housing association partners combat the immediate impact of cold weather on their residents, Charis has launched Winter Warmth bundles to be distributed through its Charis Shop platform. The bundles contain a range of energy efficiency measures, heated wearables and soft furnishings that will help housing associations, charities, local authorities and advice centres keep families and individuals warm over the cold months that lie ahead.

winter warmth

Image © Shutterstock / Jelena Stanojkovic

The bundles were launched in response to a growing demand for the convenience of simple and specific product bundles that make a real difference to the wellbeing of the recipients. Charis was approached by E.ON Next, EDF and Ovo, who had allocated significant resource to providing winter warmth bundles to its customer base. Charis subsequently identified a much greater need throughout its wider partner network to distribute the bundles to its own beneficiaries.
Social landlords in particular are well positioned to identify the most vulnerable households. Providing an isolated pensioner a heated gilet and gloves will change their quality of life, boosting morale and possibly even saving their life.
We were keen to tackle the most urgent and high risk areas affected by the cold, and put together bundled solutions that would solve those issues as quickly and energy efficiently as possible. To this end we created a Heat the Person bundle that would give instant relief, and a Heat the Home bundle that will help householders to maximise heating efficiency in their homes.

winter warmth

Images © Charis

• Heat the Home: this bundle contains radiator reflector foil, energy efficient light bulbs, window and door insulation film and a draught excluder for improved warmth retention.

• Heat the Person: this person includes a pick and mix choice of heated throws, duvets and blankets, heated body warmers and gloves, thermos flasks and rechargeable hot water bottles.

In addition, we have created a selection of products that can be added to an Emergency bundle. In the event of central heating going on the blink (which we all know usually happens on the coldest day of the year!), or an oven or hob malfunctioning, Charis’ Emergency bundles can help residents keep warm and fed while waiting for repairs. The bundle includes air fryers, slow cookers and oil filled radiators.

Housing associations and social landlords can open a Charis Shop account free of charge giving them immediate online access to the bundles as well as a huge range of energy, food and retailer vouchers, appliances and devices, and other products to help alleviate hardship for vulnerable beneficiaries. 
The Charis Shop is open 24/7. If you know one of your households is having to choose between heating and eating, our Winter Warmth bundles will provide immediate urgent relief from the worse of the cold temperatures. Order online and we will ensure their Winter Warmth bundle is delivered direct to the beneficiary within a few days.