'Inspirational Jean' goes green

December 17, 2008 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen at Jean Ashworth's home with Clive Rushmore, eaga representative.A Littleborough resident has transformed her caravan home to an environmental friendly living space with the help of the Government's Warm Front Scheme.

Jean Ashworth, 73, was given funding which enabled her to have gas central heating installed in her static caravan. As a result her home is now healthier and cheaper to heat as statistics show that Warm Front clients saved around £300 per year on their energy bills.

After recently overcoming cancer with the help of the Springhill Hospice "inspirational Jean" decided to consider her needs and sink into a more comfortable living. "It's about overcoming your pride and accepting the help others are offering you. A lot of people won't as they see it as charity but I tell people whenever I see them to take it, it's about being that little bit selfish and looking after yourself.

"The Warm Front scheme has been excellent, I would shout it from my roof if it were flat," she added.

And Jean is far from alone in her praise. Seventy MPs, along with Members of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly Members are now supporting the annual Warm Homes Campaign which is sponsored by Warm Front scheme managers Eaga and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The campaign is organised by energy efficiency charity National Energy Action (NEA) and is aimed at increasing the awareness of the effects of high-energy bills in the home whilst simultaneously providing information about grant schemes available for those struggling to heat their homes at an economical cost.

Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive at NEA, warned: "Over 5 million households this winter could face ill health, isolation, debt and worry due to the high cost of their energy bills. Making people aware of the support they can receive, and the measures they can take to stay warm and healthy, is vital.

"In this year's Warm Homes Campaign we will be campaigning harder than ever to ensure that the Governments and Assemblies of the UK recognise the importance of adequately resourcing schemes to help those who are vulnerable."

After a visit to Jean's energy-efficient home Rochdale MP Paul Rowen, said: "I am delighted to have met with Mrs Ashworth and to be able to support the Warm Homes Campaign. High energy prices are putting millions of households under significant financial pressure this winter. Improving energy efficiency goes a long way to help those struggling to heat their homes."