The Visionaries
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Leigh Vision Impaired Self Help Group
Useful links


There are around 2 million people in the UK with sight problems and the
RNIB (Royal National Institute of the Blind) is the leading charity
offering support and information to anyone with a sight problem.


Provides information and support to people suffering from Macular Degeneration.

hsbp logo

HENSHAWS SOCIETY FOR BLIND PEOPLE is one of the leading charities supplying care and support to people throughout Northern England and North Wales.They cater for all age ranges.


support and information for all carers.




This fact sheet contains information about where to go and who to contact for advice and support for those who struggle to keep their home at a healthy temperature within the Wigan Borough.

It has been produced as a result of the Keeping Warm and Well in Wigan event held at Leigh Miners Institute on 6 November 2008, which was a collaboration between The Health and Social Care Project (Wigan & Leigh Council for Voluntary Service), Wigan Council and the organisations detailed below.

What is Fuel Poverty?

Fuel poverty is defined as a household's ability to pay for adequate fuel with less than 10% of its disposable income. 1 in 5 people in UK are now estimated to be living in fuel poverty. Through the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy the Government aims to see that no household in the UK should live in fuel poverty by 2018.

The main contributors to fuel poverty are:

Low household income

Poor housing conditions

High cost of fuel

Poor home energy efficiency

Under-occupancy of a house

Less than 10% of people seek professional advice about debt. The main message is that there is help for people worried about how to cope with rising costs, such as discounts on fuel, low interest rate loans (find out about your local Credit Union).

Useful resource: Fuel Rights Handbook, Published by Child Poverty Action Group. ISBN number: 978-1-906076-05-4

Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust provides free, impartial and expert information and advice on all aspects of saving energy.

Local Energy Saving Trust Advice Centres

have details of grants and schemes promoting energy saving and greener living. The Energy Saving Trust work with communities through:

Presentations and information stands

Community Action for Energy for community groups who want to get a grant for energy saving measures

Low Carbon Communities project - supporting communities who want to deliver local ideas for carbon savings (e.g. solar panels, wind turbines)

Free phone 0800 512012

AWARM (Affordable Warmth Access Referral Mechanism) is a scheme developed to assist vulnerable households in accessing help and advice to keep warm and well. It is used by a variety of professionals who have contact with vulnerable people and training is available for those interested in helping people to access the AWARM scheme.

For further information or to arrange training contact

Sharon Bond Energy Efficiency Officer (Wigan AWARM) 0161 234 1642


Wigan & Leigh Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

CAB helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent, confidential and impartial advice. This can be done in one of their offices, by telephone, in community venues or home visit. They cover: Debt Housing Employment Consumer Legal Taxes They have offices at:

Gerard Winstanley House



also at

6 The Avenue



(Wheelchair accessible)

Telephone advice line 0844 826 9713 (from 20 November) 10am to 4pm - Monday to Friday (do have all relevant information to hand.

There is also an out of hours pre-recorded basic advice line) Ring 01942 241113 for an appointment for:

Outreach general advice service at Ashton-in-Makerfield (Tuesday)

Ring 01942 267963 for an appointment for:

Outreach general advice service at Atherton (Thursday) Home visits for housebound or their carers who cannot attend the bureaux Community Support Project advice and information service for people with mental health needs their families and carers. Available in accessible locations throughout the Borough

Pensioners Link

Pensioners Link works with and for the benefit of people 50+ throughout Wigan Borough. As well as being a telephone/drop in centre for information and advice, Pensioners Link offers:

A carers' helpline for advice, support and information for carers of all ages who are caring for a relative, friend or neighbour

A range of social and educational activities from arts and crafts to computer classes

Weekly NHS Health Trainers' advice

Person-centred counselling

Low-level practical support for people who have had a change in their lives (e.g. discharged from hospital)

Weekly independent benefits advice sessions

Visits to people in their own homes to offer information and assistance in accessing services and activities within the local community

Linkline - a monthly newsletter. This is delivered to homes in the Borough or can be downloaded online

Pensioners Link

27 Charles Street



01942 261753

Carers Helpline 9.30am to 8.00pm - Monday to Friday (outside of these hours leave a message and you will be contacted on the next working day). 01942 606086

Age Concern Wigan Borough

Age Concern Wigan Borough's Starting Point is a prevention service accessible via a telephone help line (or fax) to anyone aged 50+. It offers a wide range of information and advice about local services that help people to live independently. Home visits can be carried out for further one-to-one discussion by their liaison service if preferred. Starting Point can also link you with all the Age Concern services available. Work includes:

Benefits information and advice - help with claiming benefits including form filling

Handyperson scheme - small DIY and repair jobs in the home (free quotes available)

Approved Providers list of reputable qualified trades people


Help with personal care needs

Free home fire safety risk assessments

Starting Point 10.00am to 4.00pm - Monday to Friday 01942 826079 01942 825594 Fax: 01942 494128