Help and support for families this winter
Keep warm and well this winter.
It’s a good idea to be prepared for the winter and to look out for yourself, your family and your friends during this time.
Moving around and keeping active will help you to stay warm and fit. Whether you go for a walk, or take part in an activity, it’s good to keep moving.
Wrap up warm
The best way to keep warm is to wear layers of clothes. If you are heading out then make sure you wear extra layers.
Heat your home
Keep your home at a steady temperature and close the curtains at night to help keep the cold out. During cold periods keep your windows closed at night. If you have a heating boiler consider getting it serviced before the cold weather arrives. If you can’t afford to heat your home visit Gov.uk for information on the warm home discount scheme
Home energy support
You may be able to get help from our Home Energy Team if you:
- live in a cold home or are struggling to heat your home
- are on a low income
- have inadequate heating and insulation in your property
- need advice about switching gas are an older or vulnerable person, have a long-term physical or mental health condition or a child under five
- live in a rented home and your landlord has failed to make repairs
- live in a shared house and want information on the responsibilities and duties of landlords
Visit the Home energy page or call 01472 326296 Option 5.
Nationally, the Government offers helpful tips and advice on the following links:
If we get cold snaps between now and the spring, it may prove to be a very difficult time for all our communities in North East Lincolnshire due to increased cost of food, utilities and more. Our partners at the Sector Support NEL Partnership have collated a list of warm spaces in North East Lincolnshire. These are scattered across the Borough and are for those in need of a warm, as well as some company. Visit ConnectNEL for details of locations of Warm Spaces.
Meanwhile if your organisation has plans to support the community then please let us know what those plans are by completing the Warm spaces survey.
This will help us to co-ordinate activity and help to promote what is going on right across North East Lincolnshire.
Energy saving actions
From choosing energy efficient kitchen appliances to draught-proofing your windows and doors, we round up our top 10 energy saving tips to help you save money on your energy bills and reduce your household carbon footprint.
Cold weather payment
The Government will announce eligible households in North East Lincolnshire who qualify for Cold Weather Payments on the following link:
Support with water bills
Anglian Water offer up to 50% reduction on water bills for eligible people. To find out more, visit Anglian Water’s Extra Care Support page.
Look out for yourself and others
Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition.
If you are aware of a neighbour, friend, or relative who is over 65 or has a long-term condition, and may find it difficult to get out, check that they are warm, well and their medicine cabinet and food supplies are stocked up. Having some company may also reduce social isolation.
There is a range of support to protect you from becoming unwell or getting worse if you are already unwell. Pharmacists provide good health advice on a range of minor ailments and can give tips on keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
Avoiding a fall
During the autumn and winter months the risk of falling increases. It’s worth having a think about how you can reduce your risk. Follow this advice from Age UK about fall prevention and how you can make your home fall-proof.
Pharmacists can also give advice on flu jabs and information, for example, if you are entitled to a free NHS flu jab. They can also advise if a visit to your GP is needed. It is important to seek early advice from a pharmacist to help prevent your symptoms getting much worse or to prevent a hospital admission. Free NHS flu jabs are available to various eligible groups and you can find more information on flu jabs by visiting the NHS website for further details.
Get the jab/boost your immune system
The Covid Booster Programme opened before Christmas and is still available in North East Lincolnshire. Please check if you are eligible.
The NHS is here to help you and the NHS 111 service is a free number to call or access NHS 111 on-line when you have an urgent healthcare need. It directs you to the right local service. It is available across the whole of England making it easier for you to access urgent healthcare services when you need medical help. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
For more information on how to stay well this winter visit the NHS website.
Low mood, stress and worries
Many people do suffer during the winter months. There are services that can support us with any low mood, stress and anxiety which are mentioned below, however there are ways we can look after ourselves too.
- Stay connected – with family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours – sharing both common stresses and having fun can help to increase our self-worth.
- Get and stay physically active – this can be really difficult when it’s dark, wet and cold – however even bundling up in hats, gloves and scarves and walking in brisk weather can cause chemical changes in our brains and help us feel more positive.
- Learn something new – whether it’s finding a new group which is teaching something you’ve been interested in for years or learning to cook that slow cooked stew you’ve been dreaming about – these can all help to boost our self-esteem.
- Give to others – whether it’s giving a bowl of that stew you’ve made to a lonely neighbour or another small act of kindness such as polishing off those old DIY skills for a friend can all help us increase our sense of purpose.
- Pay attention to what’s going on right now – what is happening in the country and indeed the entire world, can easily become overwhelming. Thinking about what is happening in the moment and how we feel right now can really help us deal with life in general – and if you struggle this – try looking at the world in the eyes of a 5 year old – try running – just because, getting excited when you see a digger on a lorry or when someone is wearing the same shoes as you. Honestly – eyes of a 5-year-old.
To find more information about opportunities in North East Lincolnshire visit Simply Connect North East Lincs – local services for local people.
Go to Healthy minds (LiveWell) for more information about mental health problems.
North East Lincolnshire has a team of wellbeing workers and trained professionals who can offer you FREE help.
You can join group sessions, speak to someone on the phone or have 1-2-1 support if you want it. Go to LiveWell or call 01472 325500. Standard rates apply.
If you need to talk to someone, you don’t have to wait for things to get bad. Call the 24-hour North East Lincolnshire Navigo Support line on 01472 256256 and select Option 3. There is someone there who wants to listen. You can also visit Get Help: NAViGO (navigocare.co.uk).
If you need help but don’t know where to turn to then ConnectNEL is a FREE service available to everyone 24/7. Friendly people will answer the phone confidentially, listen to your problems and find the right help for you.
They know all the support services that are available locally. Call 01472 403403 or go to ConnectNEL.
Simply Connect – and you will find help
Simply Connect North East Lincolnshire is a partnership project for the community, delivered by connectNEL and North East Lincolnshire Council and Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.
Search Simply Connect to find lots of information about support services that are available right across the borough, from offers to a whole range of information and advice for our residents.
Help for families
The Families First Information Service (FIS) is a free, impartial information service for families with children aged 0-19 years.
Priority service register
The Priority Services Register is a free support service that makes sure extra help is available to people in vulnerable situations.
You are eligible if you:
- have reached your state pension age
- are disabled or have a long-term medical condition
- are recovering from an injury
- have a hearing or sight condition
- have a mental health condition
- are pregnant or have young children
- have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well)
- need to use medical equipment that requires a power supply
- have poor or no sense of smell
- would struggle to answer the door or get help in an emergency.
You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.
Help you can get includes:
- Advance notice of planned power cuts. If you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons your network operator can tell you about planned power cuts. For example, when they plan engineering work.
- Priority support in an emergency. Network operators could provide heating and cooking facilities if you are cut off supply.
- Identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or agreed on picture cards if callers need to visit or contact you. This way you can feel confident they are genuine.
- Nominee scheme. You can nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier. For example, a family member, carer or someone you trust.
- Help with prepayment meter access. For example, moving a meter if you can’t safely get to it to top up.
- Regular meter reading services. For example, if nobody can read your meter.
- Accessible information. For example, account info and bills in large print or braille.
Suppliers and Network operators could offer other support services. Ask them how they can help you.
Help with money
For help with money related matters go to our Financial support, advice and guidance page.
For details of Government assistance with living support, including its help for households go to Help for Households – Get government cost of living support.
Activities and help during the holidays
Holiday Activities and Food Programme
The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme provides holiday activities in North East Lincolnshire to those families that are eligible for benefit related Free School Meals. More information will be available ahead of the Christmas holidays on our Holiday activities and food page.
There are lots of low cost or even free activities and events across North East Lincolnshire to encourage you to get out this winter, make new friends and keep active. Go to our Community Spotlight Calendar to find out more.
Make your home more secure by following some basic advice:
- Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVCu doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them
- Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
- Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and burglar alarm
- Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.
- Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.
- Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows
- Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked
For further information on keeping yourself and others safe visit the Police.UK Crime Prevention website.
Stay safe from carbon monoxide
Be aware of the danger of the ‘Silent Killer’ that is carbon monoxide:
- Know the symptoms – headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion
- Know the sources – stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnace
- Get an alarm and test it regularly (and check the expiry date)
- Get appliances serviced annually
- Do not block vents
- Do not use hobs and cookers for heat
- Get chimneys swept regularly
Enjoy Christmas safely by being prepared. Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted and test them to ensure they are working, look out for small items that a child could choke on, keep decorations and other items away from heat sources, and try and keep clutter to a minimum. For more tips on staying safe this Christmas visit Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents – Christmas safety.
For what to do in the event of a power cut/outage please go to National Grid – Power Cut in Your Area?.