As the temperatures fall amid yellow warnings of severe weather, residents in East Cambridgeshire are being given tips to keep warm.
By keeping your home and yourself warm as the days get cold, people can go a long way stay well this winter. Advice from the District Council and a number of agencies includes:
- Keep your home warm. If possible a home should be kept at least 18C and individuals should wear enough clothes and plenty of layers to stay warm. If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease keep your main living room around 21°C.
- Be prepared; keep an eye on the weather forecast. The Met Office provides the weather forecasts on radio and TV, so listen to these bulletins regularly to keep up-to-date with the weather or visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.
- Get the flu jab. Anyone with a serious long term health condition, are pregnant or over 65 can get the flu jab for free. Find your nearest participating pharmacy at www.nhs.uk/Conditions/flu-campaign/Pages/Flu-2014.aspx or by speaking to your doctor.
- Ensure you are receiving all your winter benefits. People on a low income may qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This gives a rebate to pensioners who receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit and some other people on low incomes. The rebate is £140 on your electricity bill for winter 2014-2015 so please contact your energy supplier for more information.
- Be a winter friend. Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they're safe and well.
- Stay well. Drink plenty of fluids and hot drinks - only boil the amount of water needed or decant it into a thermos to save energy and money. Try to get up and move around or if your mobility is more limited, do some chair exercises to help stay warm and active - try not to sit still for more than an hour.
- Save money by being energy efficient. Simple things like not blocking radiators, fitting draught excluders and thick curtains can help reduce heat loss.
- Be informed: The East Cambridgeshire Energy Efficiency Officer can deliver presentations to community groups about keeping warm in winter. To arrange a booking please call; 01353 665555
Help is also available to insulate properties after Cambridgeshire councils secured government funding. Grants of up to £6k are available per household to install solid wall Insulation. Landlords can also apply, with grants up to £8k available for both solid and cavity walled properties. To find out more visit www.actiononenergy.net/.
Kayleigh Maguire, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Officer at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "There is a distinct nip in the air now as winter takes a grip of our weather. We have seen beautiful frosty mornings and the first dustings of snow - while these can make beautiful photos they create a huge amount of worry for some of our most vulnerable residents. Whether they are elderly, on low incomes or suffering from long term health issues, some people fear the cost of trying to keep warm as the temperatures fall.
"However there is help from either falling simple advice or applying for grants to insulate your home. If anyone needs advise then they should get in touch with us and we will do are best to help. Those who are more able bodied can also help by keeping an eye on their elderly or vulnerable neighbours. 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. Often just showing that you care and having a conversation can help people who are not coping well with the cold."