Over-55s in Hackney can get advice on coping with the cold at free Winter Warmer event

Collection and donation rack at Hackney Central Library last year. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Hackney residents over the age of 55 can get advice on coping over the winter at a free event next month.

The Winter Warmer gives people a chance to speak to the council’s housing repairs team and get safety tips from the London Fire Brigade.

Last year’s event attracted 650 residents as the war in Ukraine saw a hike in fuel prices.

Residents will also be able to find out about opportunities and support from Hackney Council for Voluntary Services, RNID (Action on Hearing Loss), Shoreditch Trust, and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

People can also book a free test of their electrical blankets and portable heaters.

They need to call trading standards in advance on 020 8356 8559 to arrange the test.

The team from the council’s Money Hub will be on hand to help ensure people are getting the benefits they are entitled to.

They have said that Hackney residents are missing out on £28m in benefits.

Over the last year, they helped residents claim £700,000 in benefits and grants.

They have also helped residents challenge government refusals to pay personal independence payments and ensured residents with severe mental ill health received their council tax reductions.

Last year, the council put up racks at its libraries where people could donate or take winter coats.

It also supported a network of warm spaces where residents could avoid the cold without having to put their heating on.

The Winter Warmer takes place from 11am to 3pm on Thursday 7 December at St John-at-Hackney Church on Lower Clapton Road.

Residents can also enjoy free food, music and dance, arts and crafts, and free massages at the event.