Keep warm this winter

We are working with our partners in our main catchment area of Greenwich, Bromley and Bexley to make sure vulnerable residents keep warm and safe in their homes.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich and its partners have launched the annual Stay Warm Stay Safe campaign, aimed at providing a range of extra services and support for residents who may be at risk during the cold weather.

The Stay Warm Stay Safe scheme provides a range of different services and advice to help residents manage in extreme weather conditions.

Services and support on offer includes:

  • Advice and help with fuel bills
  • A benefit check by the Royal Borough's Welfare Rights Service
  • Home visits offering extra support to residents
  • Home fire safety check
  • Advice on keeping active and healthy in the winter months
  • A free room thermometer and blanket.

Residents who are over 60, caring for a young or vulnerable person, or are having problems paying their winter fuel bills could benefit from Stay Warm Stay Safe. Residents with mental health problems, learning disabilities, physical or sensory impairments are also encouraged to contact the scheme and take advantage of the advice and services available.

The Royal Borough is also encouraging residents who know someone who may be finding it hard to cope in the cold weather to notify Stay Warm Stay Safe so that help can be arranged.

Cllr John Fahy, the Royal Borough's Cabinet Member for Adults and Older People said: "Extreme weather conditions can make it hard for vulnerable people to cope in winter. The Royal Borough is providing a range of advice and support services to help people at risk during cold weather through the Stay Warm Stay Safe scheme.

"Residents who are concerned that they won't be able to keep warm this winter should contact the service for support. Equally those who have concerns about a friend or neighbour should also call."

To contact the Stay Warm Stay Safe service, call free on 0800 779 7033.

And in Bromley the council is working to share NHS advice and information about keeping warm, safe and well this winter.

At this time of year it is particularly important for our vulnerable residents and those at risk of ill health to take good care of themselves, which includes taking steps to avoid falls and slips in icy conditions when getting around can be difficult for everyone.  Home carers visiting elderly and vulnerable residents are also offering advice and information about staying warm, safe and well.   

This is part of the council's work with the Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group to help prevent avoidable harm to health by raising people's awareness of the negative health effects of cold weather and enable them to prepare for wintry weather.

Dr Andrew Parson, Chair of NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group said: "Throughout the year, but especially during the winter, we are working with our partners to support people in Bromley to be as healthy and well as possible. Now is the most important time of year to help people get the right advice and information about how to take care of their health. We are particularly concerned that we support those vulnerable groups of people who are most at risk of ill health in the winter months."

The local NHS is also asking Bromley residents to use the right service if they do become ill this winter when there is added pressure on A&E. If it's not a serious emergency residents should use the other available NHS services. Visit www.bromleyccg.nhs.uk for further information.

The NHS top tips include:

  • Keep your home warm. Your main living room should be between around 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F). You can also use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you're in bed
  • Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can
  • Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems
  • Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they're safe and well. Make sure they're warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather
  • It is not too late to get your flu jab.You can get free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu from your GP if you are over 65, pregnant, or have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home or are the main carer for an older or disabled person.

For lots more advice and information on how to keep warm, safe and well this winter you can visit www.bromley.gov.uk/winter or the NHS Choices website.

Bexley Council is urging all its residents to 'Keep warm and well'. It says: "Cold homes have a big impact on people's health. Keeping yourself warm is one of the best ways of keeping yourself well through the winter.

Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression."

For more information visit http://www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17098.

Published on 12th December 2013