OVER 1,000 homes in Barnsley don't have central heating with almost 10,000 families being too pinched to be able to afford to pay to heat their homes.

The shocking statistics show some 9,421 householdsliving in fuel poverty as a result of the poor energy efficiency of housing, coupled with rising fuel prices and low levels of household income mean they can't afford to heat their homes.

And - despite figures showing thousands of Barnsley locals have died unnecessarily in winter as a direct result of being cold - nearly 1,000 households do not currently have central heating installed

A new scheme is now offering help and a pensioner on Day Street has been the first to get central heating fitted - for free.

John Key, 84, said: “I’ve never had central heating as I thought I couldn’t afford to have it fitted or run it, I’m a pensioner. It was very cold upstairs in winter, especially at night time.”

To be eligible for the central heating fund households must have an income of less than £15,860 after mortgage or rent costs have been deducted. The scheme is open to anyone who owns or privately rents their home

Information drop in sessions will be taking place at the Better Barnsley shop, Cheapside, on Fridays, 22 January 26 February between 10am and 1pm.