Greenwich Together for Winter: Support for residents over winter
Local community groups, businesses, the NHS and the council are working together to provide support for people who might be struggling over the festive period (and beyond).
The Greenwich Together for Winter campaign gathers information about all the support and help that's available for residents over wintertime in one place, making it easier to find and access.
It's important to keep yourself and your home warm in winter. Cold weather can cause health problems such as breathing problems, strokes or heart attacks.
Being able to afford to heat your home in winter can be a real worry, but there's help available. The Royal Borough of Greenwich is providing extra services and support for residents who may be at risk during the cold weather. Residents who are over 60, caring for a young or vulnerable person or having problems paying their winter fuel bills could be eligible for support from Stay Warm Stay Safe.
Thames Water has created some videos to help you prepare your home for winter:
- protecting your pipes, getting insulated and looking after your radiators
- sewer flooding and prevention
- what to do if you see flooding.
Look after your mental wellbeing
Winter can be a difficult time for lots of us. The cold weather and dark evenings can take their toll, and, whether or not it's part of your life, Christmas can bring up some tricky feelings and affect your mental health.
But there are things we can all do to look after ourselves and loved ones. It's okay to ask for help, and lots of support is available.
Look after your body
Moving more is easier than you think. It can be easy to fall out the routine of keeping active as the weather gets colder, but if you build it into your daily routine, you'll be moving more without even realising!
Why not try taking the stairs instead of the lift, or walking short distances rather than taking public transport.
As the festive season approaches, there are lots of opportunities where turning down a drink can be hard. From office parties, to drinks with friends, to family festivities, it can be hard not to get carried away with the good cheer.
The units in alcohol can quickly add up, and you may not realise how much drinking too much can affect your health and happiness.
Research shows you are three times more likely to quit smoking for good when you have support. It's not easy, but there's lots of support available near you.
So, whether you've made a decision to quit now, or want to do it as a new year's resolution, we're here to help you every step of the way.
It is important that we continue to eat well during winter. Eating a healthy diet can help maintain your immune system to better protect you from winter illnesses.
Eating well for less
If the cost of food is putting you off eating well, here are 20 top tips on how to eat well on a budget.
If you're struggling to afford to eat, call Live Well Greenwich on 0800 470 4831 to speak to a friendly advisor today. They will be able to organise support either through the Greenwich Foodbank, a food club or to access the Emergency Support Scheme.
For updates around food, and support and advice to eat well, visit Good Food in Greenwich.
During school holidays, Royal Borough of Greenwich provides food at a range of locations across the borough.
Holiday Food and Fun
This winter, we're funding free holiday club spaces for eligible children and young people. If your child is aged between 4 and 16, and receives or is eligible for free school meals, they can claim a spot at one of our participating clubs. Every club will provide a filling meal each day too, so parents and carers don’t have to worry about what to do with the little ones.
All programmes will have places for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Vitamin D keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
During summer, direct sunlight on our skin when we're outside makes enough vitamin D. But between October and March we do not get enough vitamin D from sunlight, and it's only found in a small number of foods.
The NHS suggests you consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day during the winter months. You can get Vitamin D supplements from most pharmacies, as well as supermarkets and other retailers.
Find out more about vitamin D on the NHS website.
Boost your immunity
Flu and COVID-19 can both be life-threatening and spread more easily in winter, when we are all crowded together inside. Vaccines are the most effective way to boost our immunity and protect ourselves from these viruses.
Most adults and children will be eligible for a free flu jab, a COVID-19 booster, or both.
Know where to go this winter
Visit your local pharmacy
Visit your local Pharmacy if you need clinical advice or medicines for minor health concerns such as sore throats, coughs, colds, upset stomah, aches and pains.
Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are qualified healthcare professionals who can help you with minor health concerns.
If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists can make sure you get the help you need, whether that's seeing a GP, nurse, or other healthcare professional.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.
Ensure you order repeat prescriptions in good time especially when services are due to be closed over a holiday period.
Think 111 first
NHS 111 can help when you have an urgent medical problem, when your GP practice is closed, and you are not sure what to do. It is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Go to the website 111.nhs.uk first or use the NHS App, it’s much quicker.
If you need more help or don’t have the internet, then call 111.
How does it work?
You answer questions about your symptoms on the website or by speaking to a fully trained advisor on the phone. You can ask for a translator.
Depending on the situation you will:
- find out what local service can help you
- be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist, or GP
- get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
- be given an arrival time if you need to go to A&E – this might mean you spend less time in A&E
- be told how to get any medicine you need
- get self-care advice
- be advised to go to an urgent care centre
Also available by NHS 111 British Sign Language interpreter service at nhs.uk/111 and textphone on 18001 111.
Register with a GP
Even if you feel well, it is really important you are registered with a GP.
Your GP practice team includes GPs, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, such as pharmacist, paramedic, physiotherapist and you may be seen by any of them as appropriate.
Because of COVID-19, there have been changes to the way appointments at your practice are provided. You can request a consultation online, or may receive a consultation by phone, or the community services can look after poorly residents at home, so they don’t have to go into hospital. Your GP will be able to arrange what services you need to help you stay home and recover.
It is important not to delay seeking advice from your GP practice with any new or ongoing health concerns.
Instead of phoning your GP practice, you can sign up to use free online services. You can then book or cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions and look at your records online. Speak to your practice to get started.
Your practice will get you the right help quickly if it is urgent. This may include an appointment out of hours or at another local NHS service.