Crank up the heat on someone’s winter

Winter heat means happier healthier kids. Photo: supplied.

The call has gone out for heaters – lots of heaters, column or radiator heaters that are of no further use but are still in good working order.

“Let it heat a home for a family living in a cold house this winter,” says Kirsty Robertson of the Bay of Plenty Healthy Homes Initiative.

She visits struggling families from Katikati to Te Kaha, to Murupara who are sometimes living in appalling conditions. “Some homes are cold and damp, with a prevalence of mould, leaking roofs, rotten floorboards and no water.”

The Healthy Homes focus is on improving housing conditions - to help parents of unwell children have a warmer, drier and healthier home and in the process help prevent respiratory and other infectious conditions and acute rheumatic fever. Healthy Homes provides advice, education and, where needed, essentials such as blankets, curtains, carpet, insulation and children’s clothing. And heaters.

So Healthy Homes is appealing for oil filled heaters because they are portable, efficient, economical and safe to be around small children. These heaters go into the bedrooms of small children to warm the winter overnight temperatures when they drop to unhealthy levels.

“Throughout the Bay of Plenty there are hundreds, if not thousands, of homes that are cold, damp and challenging to live in,” says Kirsty. A heater would bring comfort and protection. And they urgently need more.

Every March, the Tauranga Rotary Club collects heaters as part of its Rotary Easter Book Fair.” However, there has been huge demand and we already running low. We need more heaters now, and we still have many families to visit before this winter ends.”

“Under the initiative we visit families with children under five who have been unwell and are struggling with respiratory conditions triggered by cold and damp conditions.” Medical research shows temperatures below 16 degrees can lead to increased respiratory concerns and poor health, especially for those who are unwell or have vulnerable lung and heart conditions.

Two weeks ago, the temperature dropped to zero or one degrees inland where a woman with cancer was living. Her nights were a struggle, her breathing was laboured and each day she woke up exhausted. Healthy Homes chatted with her about the importance of keeping her bedroom warm and provided her with a heater. Two days later she reported the best night’s sleep since she was diagnosed.

She didn't realise the impact of a positive warm room.

About 100 heaters have been passed on to families in need in the past year. All heaters are electrically tested before being re-homed.

If you have column/radiator heater which is of no further use to you, please call: 022 4972529 or: 544 1882, or message: service@so.org.nz

They can either pick up the heaters or organise where to drop them off.




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