THROUGH the strongest blizzards and the deepest snow drifts, there was a team of everyday heroes checking in on all elderly and vulnerable people in Oldham.

For those who rely on the help of others last week's wintry onslaught was an anxious time as services were severely hampered by the weather and travelling became hazardous.

But nothing got in the way of staff from Oldham Council and MioCare - responsible for delivering social care provision - as they literally dug their way to the homes of elderly and vulnerable people as Storm Emma battered the borough with blizzards and severe snow drifting.

The weather left many elderly people completely isolated, stranded and running out of food with some without heating.

At the height of the treacherous conditions last Thursday MioCare staff trekked through the snow to visit 160 elderly and vulnerable people just to make sure they were safe and had everything they needed. Thousands of other vulnerable residents were also contacted by phone.

MioCare workers marched through snow up to their waist to reach a 94-year-old woman in Strinesdale to make sure she had plenty of food and that she was warm.

The council's Adult Social Care team were concerned about a 90-year-old woman who lives alone on a farm in Diggle.

She had no heating, other than a coal fire but the coal was all outside.

Drifting snow stopped the team from reaching the woman as they battled the icy conditions twice to try to reach her.

She was given advice over the phone on how to stay warm before council staff worked with partners from the Mountain Rescue Service to ensure that the lady was safe and warm.

Councillor Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding, said: “This week has been a very testing time for everyone in Oldham. Simple tasks such as going to the shop for food have become an enormous struggle.

“At Oldham Council we are urging those who can to support the vulnerable and elderly who need the help of others during such challenging times.

Karl Dean, managing director at MioCare, said: “The team successfully met every single call out. The care of our most vulnerable was at the forefront of our minds with every staff member going the extra mile to ensure the safety of those who needed our help most.

“I am enormously proud of the team and the work they do.”