Charities in the Barrow area have come together to offer support to those struggling to pay the heating bills over winter.

The Barrow Advice Hub is a network of local charities working to help people facing fuel poverty reach the right help and advice.

Fuel Poverty is when people struggle to cover the costs of heating their homes, this issue is particularly serious in winter.

Latest figures from the Cumbria Intelligence Observatory show 28,176 households in Cumbria are estimated to be in fuel poverty with Barrow appearing in the worst 20% for proportion of households in fuel poverty.

Barrow Advice Hub have recently attracted Lottery Funding, so they can offer advice and support to more people facing fuel poverty this winter and continue to support them going forward to reduce the possibility of future difficulties.

The group is made up of several key partners including: Mind in Furness, Citizens Advice, Project John, Barrow & District Disability Association and Barrow Foodbank.

Michael Cassells, Chair on Mind in Furness (MiF) and Councillor for Risedale, said: "I know first-hand how easy it is for things to get of control.

"10 years ago, I was made redundant, as a single parent I struggled to pay the fuel bills.

"Mind in Furness helped me in so many ways, including dealing with the emotional impact of the situation."

Cllr Cassells stressed how those in need should not feel embarrassed about asking for help.

He said: "I'm proud to see the community coming together and I hope people will seek advice as soon as problems arise."

By working with other charities, MiF hope to help more people get the support they need and work with them to make them feel in control of their situation.

Debt, poverty, housing problems can lead to issues with health and wellbeing.

In the future MiF aim to work closely with GPs to help people tackle the problems linked to depression and anxiety.