Helping keep people warm this winter

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THE Public Health Agency will team up with Larne Council to help keep vulnerable local people warm this winter.

The “Keep Warm” scheme aims to provide support for those most at risk who are unable to adequately heat their homes this winter, older people, children and those with chronic illnesses or disabilities made worse in cold weather.

The initiative has been funded by the PHA, working in partnership with local councils, health and social care trusts, and community networks.

Four different ‘Keep Warm’ packs have been developed. These contain a fleece top, thermal underwear, socks and a blanket. Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency is working in partnership with local organisations to reach people who are at greater risk of cold-related illness. These community, voluntary and statutory partners are essential in supporting us to ensure that warm clothing gets quickly to those who need it most.

“This programme is part of a range of measures that the Public Health Agency is taking forward to help vulnerable people and tackle fuel poverty”

Top tips for keeping warm during the cold weather:

Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps to keep energy levels up during winter.

Wear several light layers of warm clothes and if you are going outside, wear boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Remember, the roads and pavements may be slippery. Take a mobile phone with you.

Keep your living room and bedrooms warm – between 18 and 21 degrees centigrade – and avoid going outside if possible.

Keeping active will help you stay warm so try to move around at least once an hour.

Use a blanket or shawl to keep yourself warm when sitting down. Put the blanket over your knees or shoulders to help you keep warm when watching TV, reading a book or lying down to rest.

Look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk during the cold weather – especially the elderly and those who are ill. It is important to prevent people from becoming cold in the first place. Prevention is always easier than cure.

‘Keep Warm’ packs will be distributed regionally over the coming weeks, where they will be given to those most in need as the cold weather sets in.