Keeping Warm and Well this Winter

HELP is being offered to keep vulnerable Reading residents warm and well this winter as the colder weather arrives.

Reading Borough Council and its partners are offering support to at-risk groups, including older people, individuals with disabilities, those with long-term health conditions and families with young children.

The Council’s Winter Watch scheme gives residents advice and guidance on how to reduce heating bills and suggests practical ways of keeping warm. There is also emergency assistance available to households facing severe financial hardship.

Winter Watch energy advisers are available to give free support to people who struggle to keep their homes warm through the colder months. They offer free home visits and help explain energy bills, show how to submit meter readings, assist with switching energy suppliers, help with draught-proofing and many other matters which help vulnerable residents stay warmer for longer.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Housing, said:

“Being cold at home is not only miserable but can increase the risk of serious health problems, particularly for our more vulnerable residents.

“Conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and heart disease are all connected to cold homes so individuals who are struggling to keep warm this winter should contact the Council’s Winter Watch scheme.

“The team can offer simple but effective advice on keeping your home warm as well as giving practical help and assistance.

“I would also urge people to check on their elderly neighbours over the winter months to make sure they are keeping warm and well.”

Visit http://www.reading.gov.uk/winterwatch for more information or contact the Winter Watch team by calling (0118) 937 3747.

Flu season is now upon us and those residents who are eligible for the free flu jab are being reminded to book an appointment with their GP or to pop into their pharmacists.

Flu is a highly contagious and unpredictable virus that can be unpleasant for otherwise healthy people, but most people will recover from flu within a week or two. It can, however, cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups, including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition. Such individuals are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

The flu vaccination is available now and is free on the NHS for various groups and individuals who may be particularly vulnerable to complications.

Those eligible for the free flu vaccine include:

·        Adults aged 65 and over

·        People with certain medical conditions, such as chronic heart disease, asthma and diabetes to list a few. For more information to see who is eligible, visit: – www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/

·        Pregnant women

·        Children aged two and three on 31st August 2019

·        Children in primary school

·        Frontline health and social workers

·        People living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay facility

·        People who receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if they fall ill

Visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/ for more information.

David Millward

For media enquiries about this release email david.millward@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 4289