YOUR article last week, 'Hundreds of deaths linked to cold homes', highlighted the shocking figures for excess winter deaths in Cumbria - reporting from the Office for National Statistics that 500 people may have died because of living in cold and poorly insulated homes.

As you mentioned, Age UK’s Winter Warmth Fund is a very welcome help to many who qualify, providing help with heating costs. We would like to also let readers know of another Cumbria-wide initiative, Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria, set up by Cumbria Action for Sustainability with the support of South Lakeland District Council and other local authorities.

This service is available to a wide range of residents, providing energy-saving advice tailored to their particular situation. A home visit can be arranged by a qualified assessor, and can lead to draught proofing the home, free LED light bulb replacements for inefficient bulbs and a range of other energy-saving measures.

Advisors can help check energy tariffs and can even make an application for a new smart thermostat, replacement of old kitchen appliances and even fix a faulty boiler. Onward referrals are also possible, depending on circumstances for new insulation and heating systems.

Eligibility is based on health, income and a range of other circumstances. The scheme has a limited number of places and applications should be made as soon as possible. Householders can apply for the scheme at or by calling Cumbria Action for Sustainability on 01768-210276.

Anyone can apply on behalf of a friend or relative who may benefit, if they have their permission, and together we can take the best action we can to make homes safer and warmer and hopefully reduce winter deaths.

Cllr Suzie Pye, health, wellbeing and financial resilience portfolio holder for South Lakeland District Council

Andrew Northcott, Cumbria Action for Sustainability