We know many residents will be worrying about how to keep warm and healthy this winter. That’s why we’re here to help you beat the cold.

The NHS recommends we heat our homes to at least 18°C (65°F), but with rises in energy prices many will consider avoiding using their heating to try and save money. However, it’s important to remember that the cold is not just uncomfortable. It can be particularly dangerous for those with pre-existing health issues such as heart and breathing conditions or children who are asthmatic. Living in a cold home can also have a negative impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.

Here are 5 ways to keep warm and well this winter:

Contact the Warm Home Check service

The Warm Home Check is a free service for East Sussex residents that offers telephone advice for anyone struggling to afford to keep warm at home, with money-saving advice and tips on how to stay warm for less.  The service is available all year-round and can provide eligible households with a holistic home energy efficiency assessment. This can include:

  • Advice on how best to keep your home warm and reduce energy costs
  • Advice on financial support available to help with heating costs
  • Small home improvement measures such as pipe insulation, draught-proofing, radiator reflector panels or minor heating repairs.

Emergency temporary heaters are also available to eligible households, for example if your heating breaks down or is insufficient.

Get vaccinated

No one loves going for their flu jab or COVID booster but in reality, it’s painless, over within two seconds and can help protect you from getting seriously ill. So, if you are eligible for a flu jab, get it booked in with your GP as soon as possible. Also make sure you book your covid booster when you are contacted. There’s no reason to delay!

Find out more about booking your flu vaccine

Find out about your covid booster

Practise good hygiene

Continue to practise good hygiene especially when out in public spaces to help protect you from the flu, covid, colds or gastrointestinal bugs. This means:

  • Wearing a mask in busy areas
  • Catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue or handkerchief
  • Washing hands regularly or using hand sanitizer to reduce the chances of you catching or transmitting a virus

Be prepared

Winter comes around every year so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for when the temperature drops. You can do this by:

  • Signing up to receive free cold weather alerts. ColdAlert will give you a heads-up via text, voicemail or email when severe cold weather, blizzards or icy conditions are due in East Sussex
  • Ensuring you’ve got enough of your prescription medication
  • Keep your kitchen stocked with essentials. If you are struggling to afford food, contact your local Citizens Advice to find out about foodbank vouchers.
  • Get your flu jab and covid booster when/if they are available to you

Spend time somewhere else

Now hear us out. If you are struggling to stay warm at home, and are able to, consider venturing outside.  Perhaps you could visit a designated local warm space in your community, catch up at a good friend’s home or take a trip to your local library. This guarantees you a warm, dry and safe space to spend time without having to spend money on heating.

If you do decide to venture out, it’s important to make sure you wear warm clothes and suitable shoes with a good grip.

While we understand this winter may be daunting for a lot of residents, you can make small changes that have a big impact. Most importantly please reach out for help to keep yourself and your family warm and well this winter!