As forecast, we are now in the midst of a cold snap. Cold homes have a significant impact on people's health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm. This can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

The chances of these problems are higher if you're vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of your age, your income, a disability or health condition.

It’s wise to plan ahead for the colder months and bad weather. Staywell is here to help, with a range of services you can call on and some tips for keeping warm.

Keeping warm – top tips

Make sure you’re getting the financial support you’re entitled to - call our Information and Advice service for more information.

  • Dress appropriately, in layers of thinner clothes rather than one thick layer.
  • Stay active, alternate rest and activity, but don’t take risks in wet or icy weather.
  • Eat well, sip hot drinks regularly throughout the day and stock up on provisions in case you can’t get out to the shops.
  • Set your heating to the right temperature (18–21°C/64–70°F) in the rooms you use during the day.
  • If you don’t want to heat your bedroom all the time, make sure it’s warm before you go to bed and use the timer to make sure it’s warm when you get up.

If you use an electric blanket, make sure it’s safe. A guide on using, caring for and storing electric blankets is available from Electrical Safety First.

Help your neighbours in winter

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.

If you're worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring Staywell for advice.

Winter support services from Staywell

Staywell provides a range of services to help you stay warm and be safe this winter.

Handyperson (Kingston borough)

Practical help with little jobs around the home, including: clearing snowy paths or driveways, draught-proofing homes, providing free winter warmth packs, fixing grab rails for slippery paths or steps, loan of a portable heater in case of boiler breakdowns, severe cold etc.

Community Team (Kingston borough)

Support and advice if you are unwell or can’t get out of the house.

Information and advice (Kingston borough)

Referral to energy advice services; assistance in claiming all appropriate benefits to maximise income available for paying energy bills.

Want to get out of the house when it’s cold and wintry?

Companionship, activities and hot meals are available at Staywell centres Raleigh House and The Bradbury. Please get in touch to find out more.