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Keep warm this winter

Published Thursday, 05 December 2013

Enfield Council is launching a campaign to make sure people have the information and support they need to keep themselves warm and well as winter starts to bite.

In 2012/13, the Council and its partners provided a range of schemes through a Department of Health-funded £225k Warm Homes & Healthy People Programme help people keep warm in the winter and prevent deaths. This was successful in reaching 8,000 residents particularly those in vulnerable communities.

The Department of Health announced it is not proceeding with this national programme in 2013/14. However, because of the concerns about winter deaths due to cold housing and hardship, the Council is funding voluntary-sector schemes worth £120,000 in an Enfield Warm Households Programme during the winter months of 2013/14. These will include schemes to: provide practical help and signposting to grants to improve home heating; or provide hot meals or parcels to people’s homes or in a warm, friendly environment

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, Cllr Christine Hamilton, said: “Winter is a time of year when it is particularly important for people to look after themselves during the cold weather because it is traditionally the time of year when people, especially older residents, are most at risk of developing serious health conditions.

“It is particularly important that older people, particularly those over 80, and others at risk get vaccinations from their GPs to protect them from flu and pneumonia, whilst the NHS and its partners continue to help older people with conditions such as asthma to manage these conditions.”

“The Council, NHS and voluntary sector have been working really hard over the last two years to make sure people and their homes feel as warm and well as possible during the winter, but it is also important that people everything they can for themselves to keep warm and safe.”

Enfield Council and the NHS recommend the following tips to keep you and your home warm and save money during the winter:
•         Try to keep your home as warm as possible: it should be at least 18C (64F);
•         Make sure you have warm clothing and blankets to keep warm during the day and at night in bed, and electric blankets or hot-water bottles (but not both together);
•         Close your curtains as it gets dark – to stop heat escaping through windows;
•         Stop draughts through the bottom of doors or gaps in skirting boards;
•         Have your loft insulated and cavity wall insulation fitted if you can; there might be grants to help you do so;
•         An insulating jacket for hot water tanks only costs a few pounds;
•         Make sure you eat well: have at least one hot meal a day, and hot drinks often;
•         Try to keep as active as possible: walking to the shops, up and down stairs, doing household chores are activities that will help keep you warm.
•         Make sure you visit your GP to arrange a free flu jab;
•         Get in touch with someone to make sure you get all of the winter benefits that you are entitled to;
•         Make sure you arrange for someone you trust – a relative, friend or neighbour – to keep in touch with you when the weather is very cold;

People can also get help to keep warm. Heat Helpline offers advice to people worried about energy bills and about home insulation grants. The Government offers help with winter fuel payments for those aged 60+

Contact Details
Heat Helpline or ring 0800 336 699
Winter Fuel Payments or ring 0845 915 1515
Energy Saving Advice Service or ring 0300 123 1234
Enfield Council Benefit Enquiry Line or ring 020 8379 1000
Age UK Enfield Advice Line or ring 020 8375 4124

To help spread the word to as many people as possible, Enfield Council is producing a free 2014 calendar for distribution through its voluntary sector partners with advice about keeping warm, connected, safe and well throughout the year, particularly in the run up to and during winter.

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