Warm Well Families Doncaster
Cold homes harm health. There is a growing knowledge and evidence base related to the direct negative impacts on morbidity and mortality of living in cold housing. We know for example that in children, cold homes are associated with poor infant weight gain, slower development, worse asthma, and more hospital admissions.
Adolescents are five times more likely to suffer multiple mental health problems. Adults – particularly those who are vulnerable – suffer more heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease, their general health is worse and existing conditions are exacerbated by living in cold properties. Older people suffer worse mental health and higher mortality rates.
Living in cold housing can also indirectly harm health. It affects children’s educational attainment, emotional well-being and resilience, limits the dietary opportunities and choices people make, and the impact of cold on dexterity leads to a higher risk of accidents and injuries.
The Warm Well Families Project in Doncaster aimed to explore factors influencing the ability of households with children with asthma to keep warm at home in winter and access help. The project was conducted in partnership with a Warm Well Families Project in Rotherham, funded by NHS Rotherham and the subject of a separate report.
The Warm Homes, Warm Families research project adds to our knowledge about the complex interaction between cold homes and health by exploring factors influencing the ability of households with children with asthma to keep warm at home in winter and access help.
The experience, knowledge, beliefs and values of adults living in households with children with asthma affect the choices they make. This work will help to design improved information and support to enable families to protect themselves better from the harm to health caused by cold, damp housing. This work is particularly important at a time when energy costs are spiralling upward and when many families are faced with very stark economic choices.
This report presents findings from a research project funded by Consumer Futures and NHS Doncaster.