A network of council and community warm spaces are open to welcome residents and vulnerable people in need of extra support this winter.
Croydon libraries, leisure centres and other community venues have been set up as warm spaces offering people a safe place to go as the weather gets colder. The details and locations can be found on the council website – please check the opening times before attending.
All the participating venues are heated and free to enter, and some offer hot food and drinks, activities and services such as debt advice, help with benefits, energy saving, and support to get online.
This comes as the Mayor of London has activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol across the capital as conditions are set to get colder through the week. The Met Office has a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert in place from 6.00pm, Wednesday, 7 December to 9.00am, Monday, 12 December 2022 – this may be extended further into next week. Residents are advised to monitor the Met Office website for the latest forecast and warnings.
Plans are in place to keep services running across the borough and the council is asking residents to follow guidance to keep warm and well, and to look out for others who may struggle in the cold weather. Council teams will be checking in on elderly and vulnerable residents to make sure they have what they need and are coping well.
We are also distributing more than £3m of financial support to help residents most in need this winter through the new Household Support Fund. Our teams are working with schools and community and voluntary sector organisations to ensure we reach the maximum number of people possible.
The council will be working with our outreach partners including Streetlink and Thames Reach to support rough sleepers – encouraging them to take up offers of accommodation and shelter. People can also get in touch with Streetlink for advice on how to help someone sleeping rough.
Cold weather can impact on some people’s health more than others, for example those over 65, those with a chronic or severe illness, pregnant women and children under the age of five. There is also a higher chance of catching a respiratory infection during winter.
Here are some actions to take to help you stay well as the temperature drops:
- Get your flu and Covid-19 vaccinations to protect your health and those around you
- Heat rooms in your home to at least 18°C where possible
- Eat warm nutritious food, which is a vital source of energy and having plenty of hot drinks
- Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer; this will trap the heat to keep you warm. In addition, remember to wear shoes with a good grip when outside to prevent slips and falls
- Keep moving if you can as this will help keep you warm, where possible do not sit still for more than an hour at a time.
There is more information on the NHS website.
Parents can also get advice from a new health and wellbeing website to treat a range of health issues for their child including common concerns such as fever and breathing problems.
During winter, residents should make sure they have enough medication in case they are unable to go out. Pharmacists can give advice for minor illnesses and as to whether you need to see a doctor. Check 111.nhs.uk for advice or call 111 if you have an urgent medical issue.
If you do feel unwell this winter, the sooner you get advice, the sooner you are likely to get better, which can also help to ease winter pressures on health and social care services.
“The council is committed to supporting our residents this winter. This is especially important now with the increased cost of living and many people facing tough decisions. We know our communities take care of each other in times of need and we hope that you can visit frail or older relatives, neighbours or friends, and other vulnerable people, especially those living alone or who have a serious illness. Let’s make sure they are warm and safe to keep them well. Please keep checking service updates from the council, the weather forecast and transport schedules to help you plan for the cold days ahead.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health, said: “We are encouraging residents to look after yourself and check if you and your family are up-to-date with your vaccinations like flu and Covid-19. This will help to boost your immunity and get protection from viruses that are more prevalent at this time. Do follow NHS guidance to keep warm and well and reduce your risk of needing urgent medical help this winter.”