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Weekly Edition - Published  12 December 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Charity searching for angels to help older people this winter

THE dangers of icy and wet footpaths can result in older and vulnerable people being left stranded in their homes during bad weather. Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is urging people to become:- 'Snow Angels' to help reduce feelings of isolation this winter.

A 'Snow Angel' is simply someone who clears ice and snow from outside their house and their neighbours', if they are less able to do so themselves.

Becoming a Snow Angel is as easy as equipping yourself with rock salt and sparing a few minutes at the beginning and end of the day to grit. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your local Council and find out if they have a volunteer scheme you can join.

Alan Benson, 46, is a wheelchair user. He finds getting around in icy weather very difficult and in the past has not left his home for a month due to a fear of falling out of his chair.  Alan Benson says:- "I had my very own Snow Angel once; I don't think they even realised. I lived in a block of flats and one winter it snowed heavily. It was particularly treacherous and very nasty. Someone kept clearing the outside path from the front door so I could get out. I'm forever grateful; it was such a generous act. I think it would be great if people became Snow Angels this winter. It can make such a difference to people's lives."

Sophie 7, Michael 5 and Hannah Thompson 3 are Snow Angels in their village, just outside Elgin in Scotland. Together with their dad, Chris, they clear paths with a homemade, push along plough.  Chris Thompson says:- "The children push the plough about 100 metres up and down our street to help clear access to our elderly neighbours' houses.  They know how the snow and ice can create problems for our neighbours and stop them going out to the shops or to see friends. They like to help me as much as they can to make sure they can still get out and about in the bad weather. Plus, they enjoy being able to build a much bigger snowman with the snow they collect."

Dave Taylor, Regional Director (North West), Living Streets, said:- 'Each year thousands of people in the UK are admitted to hospital after slipping on ice or snow. This prevents a lot of people from leaving the house during bad weather, which can result in loneliness and all the health problems associated with not being fit and active.  We hear a lot about the importance of gritting and making roads safe for drivers, but pavements and walkers are often overlooked. This winter, we are urging not only the government to ensure these people are not forgotten, but also asking everybody to think about their neighbours.'

More than 200 snow angels will be recruited around the country to help communities this winter. Visit the Living Streets website to find out more about being a Snow Angel and how you can join them. 

If you're already a 'Snow Angel' or have benefitted from 1, Living Streets would love to hear from you. Please email us your story to our newsroom via:-!


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