An early Christmas present is on its way to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.
Bolton Council is delivering a batch of “winter kit bags” to help people prepare for the onset of bad weather.
In recent years the council and its partners have donated kits containing emergency food supplies, blankets and warm clothing to 1,000 homes.
The scheme has made a return again this year and around 50 kits will be delivered before Christmas, with the remainder distributed over the next few months.
The kits are designed to help older people who can’t leave the house in bad weather and families with young children who are struggling financially.
Cabinet Member for Public Health, Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, said: “The former ‘hug in a box’ scheme was extremely popular but we’ve given it an overhaul to make the items easier to transport. This year the winter kit bags will be distributed in recycled cotton bags and will include snuggly fleece blankets, warm clothing such as hats and gloves, and tinned food in case the recipient can’t get out to the shops.
“We’re distributing 50 before Christmas to people who have contacted us following last year’s scheme, and the rest will be delivered over the next few months. The kits will be there for people in an emergency if we experience bad weather.”
The project is just one of the ways the council and its partners help to keep people warm and healthy over the winter period.
The council also works with the charity Urban Outreach to provide hundreds of extra food parcels to families in crisis. The charity already operates a food bank in the town and enhances its service during winter.
Help is also available for former homeless people who have recently acquired permanent accommodation and need help to keep warm. Tenants are provided with duvets, curtains and heaters to support them through the winter months while they meet their rent costs.
There is also support and advice via the affordable warmth scheme. Eligible people can benefit from free loft and cavity wall insulation, grants towards better boilers and heating systems, and advice on how to switch energy suppliers through the Greater Manchester Fair Energy campaign.