BLACKBURN with Darwen Age UK is encouraging people to ‘wear it woolly’ and raise some cash for pensioners struggling during cold winter weather.

The cold snap last year 2012 resulted in 160 people in East Lancashire dying from the effects of the cold.

Now the charity is offering a number of free services to try and combat the problem.

And on Friday February 8 schools and cafes across the borough will be supporting the campaign by ‘dressing down’, wearing woolly jumpers and selling bobble hats for £1, which are available at Age UK, King Street.

Chairman Ian Woolley, who donned his favourite bobble hat in aid of the cause, said: “I have a daughter who is very much an outdoors sort and she took this hat trekking over 1,700ft high in the Himalayas, where it gets pretty cold.

“I wouldn’t give it away for anything though, I’m a bit bald and I need it to keep my head warm!

“I find if you keep your head warm then the rest of your body will be too.

“There are a lot of older people in East Lancs that are struggling to keep warm in the cold and catching hyperthermia, pneumonia, flu, or even dying.

“We have a lot of social deprivation in our area and people worry about fuel bills and will leave the heating off as long as they can, below six degrees even, which is when you start worrying about hyperthermia.

“So we’re offering lots of services to help people, like giving out free thermometers so people know what the temperature is in your house and when you should turn the heating on.

“We offer advice and information on our helpline, but it is quite costly because we don’t charge for it.

Mr Woolley added: “People getting ill or dying in winter is a major problem and we know from our experience locally that a lot of people do struggle to stay warm.”

The charity also offer benefit checks to ease financial worries and befriending visits so those with issues getting about can access things they need.

For more information on how to get involved visit or call 01254 266620.