Through the strongest blizzards and the deepest snow drifts, there’s a team of everyday heroes checking in on all elderly and vulnerable people in Oldham.
Most people have been affected by the severe weather in our borough in recent days - but spare a thought for those who rely on the help of others.
Staff from Oldham Council and MioCare, which is responsible for delivering social care provision in Oldham, have literally been digging their way to the homes of elderly and vulnerable people as Storm Emma hits the borough with blizzards and severe snow drifting.
The weather has left many elderly people completely isolated, many running out of food, completely immobile and have no sufficient or working heating. However, Oldham Council and MioCare staff have stopped at nothing to make sure everyone is safe and well.
In the height of the treacherous conditions on Thursday (March 1), MioCare staff trekked through the snow to visit 160 elderly and vulnerable people just to make sure they were safe and had everything they needed. Thousands of other vulnerable residents were also contacted by phone.
MioCare workers marched through snow up to their waist to reach a 94-year-old woman in Strinesdale to make sure she had plenty of food and that she was warm.
Oldham Council’s Adult Social Care team became very worried about a 90-year-old woman who lives alone on a farm in Diggle. She had no heating, other than a coal fire but the coal was all outside. Drifting snow stopped the team from reaching the woman as they battled the icy conditions twice to try to reach her but couldn’t.
She was given advice over the phone on how to stay warm before council staff worked with partners from the Mountain Rescue Service to ensure that the lady was safe and warm.
Cllr Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding, said: “This week has been a very testing time for everyone in Oldham. Simple tasks such as going to the shop for food have become an enormous struggle.
“At Oldham Council we are urging those who can to support the vulnerable and elderly who need the help of others during such challenging times.
“We are doing our bit. There isn’t a single call for help not being answered by our incredible teams who put others first every day. We urge residents to do their bit and check on their elderly neighbour. Just to see if their heating is working, they have enough food and water and don’t feel alone. The result is that everyone remains safe and well during this period of severe weather.”
Karl Dean, Managing Director at MioCare, said: “The team successfully met every single call out. The care of our most vulnerable was at the forefront of our minds with every staff member going the extra mile to ensure the safety of those who needed our help most.
“I am enormously proud of the team and the work they do.”
If you or someone you know, is in need of urgent care in these adverse weather conditions please call 0161 770 7777. (Between 5pm and 9am call 0161 770 6936).