THE search is on for kind-hearted residents who want to do their bit to help keep the most vulnerable safe this winter.

Stockton Borough Council is looking for volunteers, who will receive full training, to support people living alone.

The volunteers will provide all manner of support varying from help with shopping and trips out to just a "cup of tea and a chat".

The scheme is all part of the Council's "Warm Homes, Healthy People" campaign which is helping to improve health, home energy efficiency and housing standards for vulnerable people.

The Council's cabinet member for housing and community safety, Councillor Steve Nelson, said: "There are so many people living across our Borough who could do with just a little bit of extra support this winter.

"Cold, wintry conditions can have a real impact on people's health, especially if they are vulnerable as a result of their age, illness or disability.

"If you have any time to spare I would really like to encourage you to consider taking part in the buddying scheme. It’s a fantastic opportunity to give something back to our community and is also a chance to meet people and make new friends."

The Council is to receive £117,000 from the Government to help support the scheme, which targets people who are aged over 75, or have a disability, or are on a low income and have a long term illness made worse by the cold.

To find out more contact the Council during office hours on 01642-528215, email or visit For emergency help with heating outside these hours, call the Cleveland Fire Brigade 24-hour helpline on 01429-874063.