Winter is upon us and while for most people it’s just a matter of turning the up the heating, for some it can be a far more dangerous time of year.
Elderly and infirm people and young children are at risk when the temperature starts to drop. In 2015-2016 there were an estimated 24,300 extra deaths over the winter period in England and Wales.
More than one-third of deaths were caused by respiratory diseases, which can be made worse by the cold.
That’s why each year St Helens Council, Age UK Mid Mersey and local partners undertake a Winter Warmth campaign, handing out free winter survival packs and informing residents on the best ways to stay warm and well, while saving money and becoming more energy efficient.
The packs, which are available at informative library events throughout November beginning this week, contain a range of winter essentials, including scarves, gloves, torches, water bottles and 2018 calendars full of useful information.
Library events are as follows:
• Monday, November 27, 10.15am to 12.15pm – Haydock Library
• Wednesday, November 29, 10.15am and 12.15pm – Thatto Heath Library
• Thursday, November 30, 1.30pm and 3.30pm - Moss Bank Library
• Friday, December 1, 10.15am and 12.15pm – Rainhill Library
The Winter Warmth campaign began last month with a well-attended launch event at the town hall. Several key organisations were on hand, including St Helens Council’s Home Improvement Agency, Age UK Mid Mersey, St Helens Council’s Healthy Living Team and St Helens Senior Voice Forum, among others.
Being too cold can cause serious problems for your breathing if you have a bad chest. Sitting for long periods in a cold home can put pressure on your heart and blood circulation too – leading to very serious problems such heart attacks and strokes.
The council is also urging residents to keep an eye on older friends, neighbours and relatives as winter starts to tighten its grip.
Call the St Helens Cold Weather Advice Line on 08000 355 878 for further help with keeping warm.