LAST year’s bitter winter killed 515 pensioners in South Yorkshire.
With soaring fuel bills, 72,000 OAPs are now living in fuel poverty in the county - and health bosses have urged them to take steps to make sure they stay warm and healthy over the winter months.
Barnsley’s director of public health, Elizabeth Shassere, said: “At this time of year changes in the weather often affect older people and those with long-term illnesses, such as asthma.
“While recent figures show that deaths nationally remain unchanged, we know that too many people from Barnsley and South Yorkshire continue to die unnecessarily.
“Many deaths in winter are avoidable and friends and family can help by looking out for older people.
“By taking simple steps, such as eating well and heating homes better, people can stay healthy over the colder months. I would encourage anyone over 65 to have the flu jab now and claim any financial support they can receive.”
The Star’s Surviving Winter Campaign has now raised more than £4,500 to help South Yorkshire’s vulnerable pensioners stay warm this winter.
The campaign urges people who can afford it to donate their winter fuel allowance to those who need it more.
To donate, log on to www.sycf.org.uk/survivingwinter or call 0114 2424857.