What is Spread the Warmth?

An older woman looking warm and well at home in winter.

Spread the Warmth is Age UK’s integrated campaign to help older people keep warm and well in winter.

To achieve this, we:

Donate to Spread the Warmth to enable us to help more older people.

Why do we need a Spread the Warmth campaign?

This winter 24,000 older people could die from the cold - that’s 200 deaths a day that could be prevented.

As we get older, our bodies respond differently to the cold – increasing the likelihood of a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, and breathing difficulties. Of the winter deaths that happen every year, 9 in 10 are older people.

Read the best ways for older people to stay healthy when it’s cold

Age UK estimates that 1.7 million older people in the UK can’t afford to heat their homes, and over a third (36%) of older people in the UK say they live mainly in one room to save money.

Cold weather adds to the financial worries of older people. 30% say they avoid heating rooms like the bedroom, bathroom or living room because they are worried about the cost.

The UK has some of the worst levels of home energy efficiency in Europe, and other much colder countries have much lower death rates in winter than the UK because their homes are better insulated.

With high quality insulation and modern technology, millions of UK homes could be made much warmer. And the Government could pay for this using the billions of pounds they already raise in carbon taxes. This would bring down bills, and above all, help millions of older people keep warm and healthy through the winter.

Read about Age UK’s Campaign for Warm Homes

Every year 3.5 million ‘older people in the UK say they are dreading the cold weather in winter. Over half a million older people spend Christmas Day alone.

Cold weather also makes it more difficult for people to get around – which can lead to depression, loneliness, and isolation.

How Age UK helps older people in winter

Local Age UKs offer a very wide range of services* to help older people feel warm and well in winter:

  • We distribute essential items like clothes, heaters and electric blankets to keep older people warm
  • We provide free information and advice to ease financial worries, and help older people to feel warm and well
  • Our handypeople provide energy services, like fitting draft excluders and radiator foils, as well as help with practical tasks around the home
  • We offer shopping support so those with mobility issues can get what they need
  • We run Christmas parties and provide befriending services to help fight loneliness

* Please note services offered by local Age UKs vary. To find out what services your local Age UK provides, search our local directory.

Alongside these services, we’re campaigning for warm homes as a long-term solution to the problem.

How you can help Spread the Warmth this winter

There are lots of ways you can help Spread the Warmth to help older people stay warm and well in winter:

Read about other ways to Spread the Warmth

Free advice

Information for people in later life on how to stay warm and well in winter, including money advice.

Read these tips

An older woman turning up a thermostat.


Tell your MP we need warm homes

Age UK is campaigning for warm homes. Add your voice, and help prevent 24,000 older people dying each winter.

Add your voice

We need warm homes


The story so far...

Spread the Warmth is now in its 3rd year. Read how we helped older people last winter.

How we've helped

Handyperson fitter