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
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