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Keep Warm, Keep Well


  1. Overview
  2. Top tips for keeping well in cold weather
  3. Help with heating costs
  4. Help with food


Very cold weather can increase the risk of:

  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • severe breathing problems
  • the number of falls

During prolonged cold spells, hospitals see more people with heart and chest problems and injuries caused by slips and falls.

The advice is to stay well and look out for vulnerable friends and neighbours by checking they are warm enough, especially at night, and that they have food and medicines so they don't need to go out.

Top tips for keeping well in cold weather

  • At home, close curtains and shut doors to keep heat in.
  • Use hot water bottles or electric blankets to stay warm at night.
  • Eat well - try to have regular, hot meals and drink plenty throughout the day.
  • Wrap up warm, inside and out. Several thin layers are better than one thick layer. Wear hats, gloves and scarves.
  • If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or breathing problems.
  • Keep active. Move around at least once an hour and don't sit down for long periods. Even light exercise will help keep you warm and improve circulation.
  • Make sure you get a proper night's sleep. People who don't are 3 times more likely to get a cold.
  • Eat well - continue to eat your 5 a day.
  • Keep moving and don't hide away during those long winter nights. Try walking and kicking up those leaves to keep yourself fit.
  • Wear a hat. We lose around 30% of our body heat through our head, so if you want to get ahead, get a hat.
  • Wash your hands frequently. This stops germs being passed around.
  • Nip cold symptoms in the bud by calling your local pharmacy for advice.
  • Sneeze and cough into a hanky, then bin it sensibly.
  • Stop slips and trips. Wear sensible footwear during the icy months.
  • Check your car before long journeys and be prepared for any problems on the road

For more information, please visit Keep Warm, Keep Well

Help with heating costs

You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home.

Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

For more information on how to reduce your bills and make your home more energy efficient, see Simple Energy Advice, or call the Simple Energy Advice helpline on 0800 444 202.

For more information about financial support, see GOV.UK: Benefits and financial support if you're on a low income.

It's worth claiming all the benefits you're entitled to as soon as winter begins.

Groundwork's Green Doctors 

Groundwork's Green Doctors help households stay warm, stay well, save money on their household bills and reduce carbon. 

You may be eligible for the Green Doctor service if one the below apply:

  • Have a low income
  • Receive tax credits
  • Receive Housing Benefit
  • Receive an income or disability related benefit
  • Have a long term illness or disability

Call the friendly team on 0191 424 7373 and they will arrange a referral for you. 

For more information, see Groundwork: Green Doctor

Help with food

There are food banks in the Borough that can provide food parcels for people in need.

Find out more at Useful contact numbers, links and opening hours

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  • Change4Life South Tyneside
  • Town Hall and Civic Offices
    Westoe Road
    South Shields
    United Kingdom
    NE33 2RL

  • 0191 424 7300

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