Campaigners across the Tees Valley are calling for greater support for those struggling to heat their homes over the winter months.
As part of Fuel Poverty Awareness Day (Friday, November 29) the South Tees Affordable Warmth Partnership is backing the Warm and Safe Homes Campaign run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA)
Living in a warm home is essential for our health and wellbeing, but rising energy prices, low incomes and poor-quality housing means that millions of people across the UK (16,567 households across the South Tees) don't have that option.
Maria Wardrobe, Director of Communications at NEA said: "This winter, thousands of people will fall victim to the cold.
"It's invading our homes and causing breathing problems, strokes and heart attacks.
"It's making people's lives stressful and miserable, and preventing our children from thriving.
"But we can cure this.
"A Government-funded, national heating and insulation scheme would vaccinate our homes against the cold.
"Giving incomes a boost would also mean that people could afford to switch on their heating and stay warm and healthy."
South Tees Affordable Warmth Partnership Chair Dr Mark Fishpool said: "People today are having to make a stark choice between heating and eating and this is unacceptable in a modern society.
"The South Tees Affordable Warmth Partnership brings together public, private and voluntary sector organisations working to support local residents to heat their homes affordably.
"No one should be cold at home this winter."