A band of 7,000 Snow Champions will help keep Sandwell moving this winter, using salt and snow shovels given to them by the council.
The equipment is given to residents for them to use to clear pavements and help clear the paths of elderly and vulnerable neighbours if we get heavy snow or ice. Anyone who received a Snow Champion kit in the past two winters will get 6kg (almost a stone) of salt delivered to their door in the coming weeks.
The council is also giving away 500 new kits to people who haven’t applied to be Snow Champions before. Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Darren Cooper said the campaign had been a great success over the past two winters.
“It never ceases to amaze me how community-spirited the people of Sandwell are. “We started the Snow Champion campaign back in 2011 and it’s really taken off since then.
“We had so much good feedback from people who used the equipment to help their neighbours and communities that we wanted to extend it this year.
“We’ve got an extra 500 kits to give to people who haven’t had one before, which means added to the Snow Champions who applied over the past two winters, we’ll have 7,000 Snow Champions helping out across Sandwell.”
The Snow Champion campaign is now in its third year after 6,500 people signed up during 2011 and 2012. Everyone who is already signed up to be a Snow Champion will get two 3kg tubs of salt delivered to their door.
There is no need to apply again if you are already a Snow Champion. Anyone who isn’t already a Snow Champion can apply for one of 500 kits (which contains a snow shovel, salt and a high-vis vest) on the council’s website: www.sandwell.gov.uk/snowchampion.
The offer is on a first come, first served basis and is only open to people who live in Sandwell. Only one kit per household. The idea behind the campaign is that Snow Champions clear pavements and paths to help people get around their neighbourhoods, or use the equipment to clear paths and driveways for elderly or vulnerable people who might slip on snow or ice.
Councillor Cooper added: “I’m keeping an eye on the weather forecast and I’m hearing that if some predictions are to be believed, our Snow Champions could be very busy this winter.” In addition to this winter’s Snow Champion campaign, the council is also offering Sandwell schools free snow clearing equipment.
Schools can apply for six free snow shovels, a grit bin and half a tonne of salt to help keep school sites open if Sandwell is hit by heavy snow.