Vulnerable people at risk of winter ‘silent killer’ kept warm by Wimbledon Foundation donation

Winter deaths in Wimbledon will be tackled with a £66,420 donation from the famous tennis club’s charity foundation to disabled people struggling to keep warm.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s charity, the Wimbledon Foundation, has partnered with Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Randall Close Day Centre to help elderly and disabled members of the community keep warm this winter.

The announcement comes at an important time, after the Office of National Statistics announced today that last year’s excess winter deaths were the highest since 1999.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Keep Warm, Keep Well project includes better insulating residents’ homes as well as handing out care packs with essentials such as hats, gloves and soup.

Randall Close manager William Gallagher praised the partnership saying that is would enable the charity to ‘reach hundreds of people who are directly affected by the cold’.

He urged communities to join the fight against winter deaths.

“People think we are doing charity work but this is a civic call for all of us who live in our communities to try and get to know your neighbours as so many vulnerable people live alone and are socially isolated,” he said.

“The statistics show that vulnerable people across our city are dying everyday due to our cold winters. It is so unacceptable to me that this has become a silent killer.”

Jordanne Whiley MBE, ranked number one in Great British Paralympic wheelchair tennis, has also praised the project.

“Winter and the cold can be very dangerous for disabled, older and vulnerable people and that’s why I’m supporting this initiative,” she said.

The partnership is particularly poignant as the charity’s founder, Leonard Cheshire, was a keen tennis player, even competing in a Wimbledon Senior’s competition in 1979.

He started the charity after seeing the debilitating effect World War II had on so many young men and it has since gone on to become the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of care for disabled people.

If you would like to get involved with the Keep Warm, Keep Well project, you can donate your time, blankets or foodstuffs to Randall Close Day Centre.

Picture courtesy of Buffa, with thanks

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