Case Study

The Warm Age Wood Company

Did you know that there are 1.4 million people in the UK aged 85 and over and two significant issues for this ageing population are loneliness and keeping warm in the winter? The causes of loneliness are not just physical isolation and lack of companionship, but also sometimes the lack of a useful role in society. In cold weather every year around 25,000 people die in England due to cold homes and the Department of Health has estimated that there is the equivalent of seven unplanned hospital admissions for each death.

The ethos of The Warm Age Wood Company from Teesdale, County Durham is to ‘warm homes, bodies and hearts’ and they achieve this in two ways. Firstly by selling wood briquettes to the local community and which offers a low cost, more environmentally sustainable way for people to keep their homes warm. For every 10 packs of briquettes sold Warm Age promise to give one pack to an elderly/vulnerable person for free, their 10-2-1 promise. These beneficiaries welcome these deliveries and might also enjoy a chat and a cup of tea.

Secondly Warm Age gives wool to some elderly people who make lovely items on a voluntary basis. Each item is unique and demonstrates the skill of these knitters, who are the ‘Woolly Warmers’ of the company. These items are sold at the Warm Age weekly market and the profits made go towards the purchase of wood briquettes to support their 10-2-1 promise. The network of knitters feel connected, valued and appreciated and love to hear where their knitted items have gone to in the world. The photograph shows Jemima having bought a hat each for her nephews, Rex and Bruno from New York. The Warm Age knitters Madge and Vera were delighted with this news.

“The inspirational team at Warm Age is building a very successful and unique business which will have real social and environmental impact in the Northern Dales. It certainly warmed our hearts.” Ignite Social Enterprise LP, backed by Centrica Plc