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FUNDING of more than £150,000 is on its way to Oxfordshire to help people stay warm and well this winter.

The Department of Health has announced it will give £152,754 to the county council to fund a series of projects in the county.

The schemes, which will include setting up a free helpline giving benefit checks and advice and training volunteers, aim to help vulnerable people who may struggle to keep warm in the colder months.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “I want to make the UK one of the best places to live in Europe for older people and that means improving care standards both in our hospitals and in the community.

“This is especially important in the winter, when older and vulnerable people are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, respiratory illnesses can get worse, and there is the risk of falls on slippery ground.

“This funding plays a vital role in helping local authorities and their partners support people in their own homes as well preventing avoidable illnesses.

“But it is equally important that we tackle loneliness as a health and care issue, if we are to stop older people having their lives cut short.

“So I want local authorities to gather solid evidence about the scale of the problem so local communities can start developing targeted solutions to the problem.”