General, Supporting our vulnerable adults

Surrey staff ready to beat severe weather to care for the vulnerable

Social care staff are ready to battle through any snow and ice this winter to help Surrey’s frail and vulnerable.

County council staff are standing by to beat severe weather and keep elderly people safe and make sure vulnerable children get the support they need.

During last year’s ice and snow, council staff at residential homes for the elderly in Reigate, Caterham, Cranleigh, Camberley, Ottershaw and Farnham went to work with spare clothing so they could stay several nights.

Some staff organised lifts from volunteers with 4×4 vehicles to make sure they got to care homes or visited the elderly while others walked up to 10 miles through the snow to see people needing care.

And Surrey Fire and Rescue Service gave carers lifts to elderly people’s homes to make sure they got medication and meals.

Michael Gosling, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “We’ve been planning for months to make sure we continue to look after the most vulnerable in our communities in the event of ice and snow.

“Last year our social care staff overcame some atrocious weather conditions to keep our services going and I have no doubt they will pull out all the stops again if there is another big freeze.

“However, the truth is we cannot do everything. If residents and communities support us, things will be much better for the county as a whole. If residents help us by looking out for elderly relatives or neighbours and clearing snow from around their properties and neighbours’ homes, things should be much easier for everyone.”

Surrey has stockpiled 17,000 tonnes of salt to keep the county moving in the event of ice and snow – 4,000 tonnes more than last year. It will allow the county council to regularly treat around 110 extra miles of road, which is the equivalent of nearly 5,300 extra miles of gritting runs across an average winter.

In addition, 1,743 grit bins have been filled so residents can treat roads and pavements in their communities and 40 tonnes of salt has been made available to each of Surrey’s borough and district councils to spread in town centres.

Ends

For more information, please contact senior media relations officer Kevin Richardson on 0208 541 7267 or email kevin.richardson@surreycc.gov.uk.

Notes for editors

The council has launched a twitter feed in partnership with BBC Surrey to provide residents with updates on gritting activity, roadworks, road closures and traffic information. It can be found @surreytravel.

More information on winter preparations can be found at http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/highwaysinfo.

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