Get Winter Ready
As the temperature drops there are things we can all do to ensure we stay warm and safe over the winter months.
The rise in energy bills and cost of living crisis means it’s more important than ever that we do all we can to keep our homes warm and safe during winter.
The sections below offer information to help you prepare, save money and stay safe.
Winter Ready Advice and Tips
You can read our handy Winter Ready guide that is full of tips and advice on getting ready for winter, keeping you and your home safe and how we can support you.
Also, below are links to content on our website, which you should also find useful.Read our handy guide
Staying Safe and Wellbeing Advice
It can be hard to stay healthy during the winter. Motivating ourselves to exercise is hard when it's cold and dark outside, and our appetite for comfort food increases.
Your winter health
Keeping active actually boost your immune function, You needn’t worry about joining a gym or donning the lycra and sweat bands! Everyday chores such as washing up and hoovering all count as physical activity.
Keeping active can lift your mood as well as boosting your energy levels. While you may not feel like it at the time, try to do little and often. If you are able to get up and walk around, this is an opportunity to make yourself a warm drink or snack.
Eat warm, Eat well
Hot meals and drinks help to keep you warm, so eat at least one hot meal each day and have hot drinks during the day. Keep basic and long life food items in the cupboard or freezer in case its too cold to go out shopping. You could also do your food shopping online and get it delivered to your door. Include a good range of foods in your diet and aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, so that you’re getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins.
Frozen vegetables are as good as fresh, if not better. Your body needs proper nutrition at all times, but especially during cold and flu season when your immune system is under threat. You need to drink plenty too. Having a hot drink before bed and keeping one in a flask by your bedside can offer warmth, comfort and hydration if you wake early feeling the chill.
- Diet - the NHS website has some excellent advice on eating a balanced diet.
- Exercise - In addition to the NHS website there are lots of great online workout videos you could use to workout at home.
- Vaccinations - Flu vaccinations are available, for more information please click here.
- Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days. Find out more here.
- Budget dinners how to make balanced meals on a tight budget:
Winter can make us feel low
When the longer winter nights arrive, take a fresh look at your home security and remind yourself of how to stay as safe as possible when out and about.
· Keep front and back doors locked at all times and keep keys and valuables out of sight and reach from cat flaps, letterboxes, and downstairs doors and windows
· If you’re out in the evening make sure you leave an energy-saving light on or a battery powered candle, and draw the curtains. If it’s dark before you get home, use timer switches to turn on energy-saving lights
· Light up your front door with solar dusk to dawn lighting – make sure it’s visible from the street
· Make sure your home is visible from the street by keeping bushes and fences less than one metre high at the front of your property
· Don’t forget about garages, sheds and outbuildings – make sure they’re locked and secure too
· Try not to leave your house in silent darkness. Just leaving a radio on could make a potential burglar think twice.
· Never leave a spare key outside your house, burglars know all the usual hiding spots
· Keep bins away from windows when they’re not being used as they can be used as a climbing aid for burglars
· Consider joining or setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Click here to find your local scheme.
Out and about
· Plan ahead before you go out. Know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll get back. Let someone know where you’re going, and be prepared for a change of plan
· Keep your purse or wallet and keys close and secure. Only take out essential items, and if you can leave valuables at home, do
· When you’re out, always walk with confidence, and stick to well-lit, busy areas, using the route you know best
· Avoid quiet or badly-let alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted
· Remain aware of your surroundings – don’t walk along texting, making a phone call or listening to music. As well as being distracting, this advertises your valuable to criminals
· Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel safe then change your route, remembering to stay in well-lit and busy areas. Don’t be tempted to take short cuts
· Be a good friend and stay safe by sticking together. Always avoid walking alone at night
· If you regularly walk home in the dark, get a personal attack alarm – they are widely available and inexpensive
· If you regularly jog or cycle, vary your route and times you go out, particularly if you go alone. Try to avoid wooded or remote areas and stick to well-lit roads, or main paths and open spaces. Stay fully alert of your surroundings and don’t use headphones
Benefits and help
Cost of Living payments
If you get benefits such as Income Support, Pension Credit, Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit you could be eligible to receive up to three cost of living payments totalling £900 from the government.
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2022 to 2023 has closed. The scheme will reopen again in October 2023.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born before 26 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.
Cold weather payment
Cold Weather payment helps people on low incomes to heat their homes when it is particularly cold.
You may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
Find out more
If you think you may be eligible for any of the above benefits, please visit the gov.uk website for further information.
If you have child under 4, or you are more than 10 weeks pregnant, you could be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
If you’re eligible, you will receive a Healthy Start card with money on it, which can be used in some UK shops to buy:
- Plain liquid cow’s milk
- Fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
- Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
- Infant formula milk based on cow’s milk
This scheme is available throughout the year. You can find out more and apply on the NHS website.
If you or anyone in your household claims Universal Credit, you could save around £180 a year on broadband by switching to a social tariff. All you need to do is check your provider offers a social tariff, if they don’t you can switch to one that does.
If you think you are eligible, please visit the ofcom.org.uk website.