Slough Borough Council is issuing advice to residents following a cold weather alert from the Met Office.
A level three alert, indicating a 90% probability of severe cold weather, is in place in parts of England, including Slough, until 9am on Tuesday 24 January.
Cold weather can be bad for people’s health, with the over 65s, low income families and people living with a disability or a medical condition most at risk.
Rough sleepers are being urged to use the homeless night shelter, which is available every night between now and the end of March.
This year the council has teamed up with local charity London and Slough Run to provide emergency shelters across Slough.
Anyone who thinks they might need to use the shelter is being urged to register in person at:
• MyCouncil (Landmark Place, High Street) between 9 and 10am on every weekday except for Thursdays
• SHOC , Burlington Avenue, Slough
• The Salvation Army, Stoke Road, Slough.
A special helpline called StreetLink is available for rough sleepers and members of the public who wish to report someone sleeping rough.
The helpline number is 0300 500 0914, or visit www.streetlink.org.uk
The council’s public health team has also reissued some advice about keeping warm and well this winter:
1. Keep warm - heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You may prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. Keep your bedroom window closed on a winter’s night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
2. Get financial support - there are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. View the Keep Warm Keep Well booklet online to learn more www.gov.uk/phe/keep-warm
3. Look after yourself -
• Contact your GP to get your free flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person. NHS Choices provides information about flu. Visit www.nhs.uk/flu to learn more.
• Don’t delay in getting treatment for minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats - visit your local pharmacist for advice on treatment before it gets worse so you can recover more quickly.
• Layer your clothing whether you are indoors or outside - wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air.
• Wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside.
• When you’re indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. Get up, stretch your legs and make yourself a warm drink.
• Have your heating and cooking appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they are operating safely.
• Contact your water and power suppliers to see if you can be on the Priority Services Register, a service for older and disabled people.
Councillor Sabia Hussain, deputy leader and commissioner for health and social care, said: “As we age it takes us longer to warm up, which raises the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. So it is particularly important that our older residents stay warm, look after themselves and make the most of the financial help on offer.
“However, not everyone can cope with the cold weather alone. So we urge people to look out for any friends, family or neighbours that might need a helping hand.”
For more information about how to stay warm and well in winter please visit Age UK’s website
www.ageuk.org.uk/winterprep or call 0800 587 0668.
Care organisations are being advised to refer to their own emergency plans and the national cold weather plan for appropriate preventative action.
If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained from www.nhs.uk/winterhealth, NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.
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