A new initiative to warm up Central Hawke's Bay's cold homes is well under way with a local school recently coming on board to help ward off the winter chills.

"Warm Homes CHB" was formed after a group of local community agencies came together concerned at the number of cold homes that they continue to see during the winter.

The group is made up of Pleroma Social Services, Hawke's Bay DHB, Red Cross, Age Concern, CHB District Council, CHB Health Centre, Progressive Otane and community volunteers.

CHB District Council community development co-ordinator Christine Renata says the group is committed to working together to achieve the goal of warm homes for all - focusing on how to best promote the resources available and to make sure these resources get to those who need them.


One of the projects that got under way last week was at Otane School where the children were busy making draught stoppers with locally supplied wool and covers sewn by Otane Arts and Crafts Centre members.

School principal Rachel Kingi said the school got in behind the project as part of its drive to become an active part of, and give back to, the local community.

Mrs Renata said the aim was to make a stockpile of these to be distributed to the community.

Other projects under way include developing a fact sheet to identify the options available to residents to assist them with home insulation and heating options.

"There are a number of different providers, all with criteria to meet and this fact sheet will pull all of this information together."

The group is also promoting the Hawke's Bay Curtain Bank, which is run by the Red Cross and covers the Central Hawke's Bay area.

The curtain bank takes curtains that are donated by the community, refurbishes them, and redistributes them to those in need.

For those wishing to donate good quality curtains there are four drop-off points: Age Concern at Porangahau Rd, Waipukurau, the Heartland building, Ruataniwha St, Waipukurau, the CHB District Council office, Waipawa and Pleroma Social Services, Otane.

"Curtains can be rejuvenated at the curtain bank, even those without insulation," Mrs Renata said.

At the same time as these activities the group is gathering together resources to distribute that explain key tips for helping maintain a warmer, drier home.

- Contact Rachel Mackay, Pleroma Social Services, Otane, phone (06) 856 8124, or Christine Renata, CHB District Council, phone (06) 857 8060.