The NHS has issued a call for 100,000 people to sign a pledge saying they will look in on an elderly friend or neighbour this winter.

Each winter thousands of people in England die as a result of cold weather. Most are over 75 and most of these deaths could be avoided. Hundreds of thousands of others spend much of the winter alone and lonely. The campaign, led by NHS Choices and supported by national media seeks to help by appealing to an old-fashioned sense of neighbourliness.

Specifically, it is asking for 100,000 people to sign an electronic pledge that states: “I will take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well.”

People who wish to sign the pledge and join the NHS Winter Friends campaign should go to  Signing the pledge takes only a moment but research suggests that if 100,000 people sign many lives will be enriched and many deaths avoided.

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