Cold weather help is on the way for Bedfordshire pensioners

Some 200 Bedfordshire pensioners are set to receive a charity’s ‘Hot Boxes’ to help keep them warm in the winter.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:10 pm
Bedfordshire Euro MP Alex Mayer swapped stitching together alliances in Europe for knitting together scarves for Age UK Bedfordshires annual Hot Box campaign

Each Age UK Hot Box is filled to the brim with locally knitted scarves, alongside woolly socks, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, flasks, hot water bottles, fleecy blankets, plus easy to heat foods like soup, rice pudding, hot chocolate, tea bags, baked beans and spaghetti.

The first Hot Box of the Age UK Bedfordshire campaign was put together on Friday (January 18) at the charity’s headquarters in Bromham Road, Bedford.

The team was joined by Bedfordshire Euro MP Alex Mayer, who knitted the final rows of a scarf to go into the first Hot Box of the 2019 campaign, and meet some of the regular knitting volunteers.

Jo Rising, from Age UK, explained that as we get older, our bodies respond differently to the cold.

This can make a drop in temperatures especially dangerous for the elderly.

Around 70 extra deaths occur in the winter months in Bedford compared to the rest of the year. In the main, these are older people who have cardiovascular or lung disease whose illnesses get worse in cold weather.

Alex Mayer MEP said: “If I told you I was a natural knitter, I think it’s fair to say I’d be spinning you a yarn, so it is great to have some knitting experts offering me a helping hand.

“Thanks to the generosity of local people and this Age UK campaign, scores of local pensioners will be receiving a warming winter gift.

“But I also hope the government will take lasting action so no one is left out in the cold this winter.”