Keeping warm and well

Wash your hands poster

Useful information from the NHS 

Lots of useful information on winter health can be found on the NHS website. You will find information on:

  • Why is cold weather a problem?
  • Who is most at risk?
  • Be prepared
  • How to keep your home warm
  • Help with heating costs
  • Protect your health in the cold
  • Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives

Go to the NHS stay well website for more information and to download their easy read guide and large print guide.

Coping with cold weather and Covid-19

Read information from: 

Winter vomiting bug (norovirus): help stop the spread

How to help stop the spread of the winter vomiting bug (norovirus)

N         No visits to hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries if you are suffering from symptoms of norovirus – send someone else to visit loved ones until you are better

O         Once you’ve been symptom-free for at least 48 hours, you’re safe to return to work, school or visit hospitals and care homes

R         Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet, and before eating or preparing food

O         Only hand-washing will prevent spread of norovirus – alcohol hand gels DON’T kill the virus

Government schemes to help heat your home

There are also other government initiatives you can maximise this winter if you are eligible:

  • Warm Home Discount If you get certain benefits, you may qualify for a £140 discount on your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022
  • Winter Fuel Payment - If you’re 65 years old or more, you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills
  • Cold Weather Payment - If you get certain benefits, you may qualify for payments when the weather is particularly cold
Warmer Winter Support Scheme

Our Community Engagement team are supporting local charities, First Days and SHARE, to provide blankets to residents who need some help to keep warm this winter.

Residents will be able to collect blankets from key locations across the borough. Visit the First Days website for more details

We are also accepting donations of new or nearly new good quality blankets. Find drop-off locations by going to the First Days website.

Help to Heat Scheme

We can help eligible residents reduce their carbon emissions and lower their fuel bills by making poor performing homes more energy efficient. It takes around four to six weeks from start to finish (once approved) and includes measures such as free loft and cavity wall insulations.

Households with a total income of below £35,000 (after tax), who are living in a property with a low EPC / energy efficiency rating (a score of 60 or below), may be eligible for the Help to Heat Scheme.

You can find out your property’s EPC rating through the GOV.UK website. For more information, including help with getting started, please email our Energy Officer, Matthew Johnston, on:

Food and fuel bank referrals

If you need help with accessing food, or affording fuel to heat your home, we are here to help, and may be able to refer you to a local foodbank or fuel bank. All you need to do is:

Email our community engagement team on:

OR contact Citizens Advice One Front Door on 0808 278 7958.

Tips for keeping warm and well from Age UK

Age UK have created a leaflet on top tips for keeping warm and well in cold weather. Also visit the Age UK website for further information.

Tips for keeping warm at home

Keeping yourself and your home warm will reduce your risk of becoming unwell this winter. Here are some tips:

  • Heat your home to at least 18 degrees
  • Try using an electric blanket or hot water bottle to stay warm in bed
  • Try to eat at least one hot meal a day
  • Wear several layers as this helps to trap warm air
  • Eat regularly and stay hydrated to keep yourself energised and your body warm
  • Exercise regularly to keep your blood circulating and your body warm
  • Try not to sit still for more than an hour; get up and stretch your legs
  • If you can get outside, try walking regularly, but don’t forget to wear enough layers
Energy saving tips

These simple steps from the Energy Saving Trust can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint:


  • Save £55 a year by turning your thermostat down by one degree
  • Save £35 a year by turning appliances off at the plug and avoiding standby mode
  • Save £25 a year and stay warm by draught-proofing your windows, doors and other areas
  • Save £16 a year by reducing your dishwasher and washing machine use by one cycle a week
  • Save £11 a year by turning your lights off when you’re not using them
  • Save £4 a year (per person) by spending one minute less in the shower each day
  • Save £6 a year by only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need
  • Save 3 litres of water a minute by turning your tap off when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Save money and energy by washing your clothes on a lower temperature
Easy read guide on keeping healthy in cold weather

Public Health England have produced an easy read guide called Keeping healthy when it is really cold.

Hand washing

Washing hands is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from these types of illnesses. The NHS have created a helpful video to show children how to wash their hands.


  1. Stop norovirus spreading this winter poster (PDF)
  2. Keeping healthy when it is really cold (PDF)
  3. Coping with cold weather and Covid-19 (PDF)
  4. NHS - we're here to help this winter (PDF)


Page last reviewed: 15/11/2021

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