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Be Winter Wise – campaign launches to support Cambridgeshire residents as clocks go back

24 October 2023

Helping Cambridgeshire residents with information and advice throughout the winter, the County Council launches it’s ‘Be Winter Wise’ campaign today.

It’s aim is to draw together a range of services, activities and offers, keeping communities across Cambridgeshire informed and prepared to stay safe and healthy during the winter months of 2023/24. And to support partners by signposting to services that they offer.

“Our council delivers a whole range of services which help and support residents throughout the year, but the need for this help often becomes even more acute as we head towards darker and colder months, “ said Council Leader Cllr Lucy Nethsingha.

“This year we are linking together everything from winter gritting, road safety activities, falls prevention, flu vaccination support, our household support fund – to help people with urgent expenses, or issuing vouchers to every child eligible for free school meals in the half term and Christmas holidays, under our single ‘Be Winter Wise’ banner – with Olly the Owl used as a helpful identifying motif.

“We’ll also be signposting to information from our partner organisations who provide essential winter support activities. And will continue our promotion of low or no cost winter activities for residents to support mental and physical health – which has been very successful over the summer.”

The County Council’s recent quality of life survey results which will be discussed at next week’s Strategy, Resource and Performance Committee showed that Cambridgeshire residents reported higher than average levels of loneliness, an issue particularly acute amongst younger people who also reported increased issues around their mental health. It also showed the effects that the cost of living is having on most residents, with many looking for more avenues for help and advice.

So, among activities already planned to be highlighted in the Be Winter Wise campaign are -

  • Work being carried out on the county’s road network – including gritting, gulley and drain clearage, getting ahead of expected impacts of bad weather
  • Road safety activities and advice - encouraging pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to wear reflective clothing, check lights and brakes and always travel according to road conditions
  • Information to help residents stay warm and well through the colder months – with an emphasis on activities to reduce loneliness and support mental as well as physical health
  • Further work to promote the council’s household support fund, open to eligible residents who are most affected by the cost of living crisis
  • Supporting NHS colleagues by promoting flu, COVID and MMR jabs to eligible groups.

This proposal builds on the approach taken by the Council during its eight week ‘Get Activated’ campaign over the summer which promoted low or no cost activities for families and children, reaching 93,000 people and showing an increased uptake of the activities promoted.

Lucy Nethsingha added: “The #BeWinterWise campaign continues our vision to make Cambridgeshire a greener, fairer and more caring place. I also want to praise our outstanding, highly motivated and compassionate staff in the council and amongst our partners who go the extra mile every winter whatever the conditions, to keep residents safe and are there ready to help when people face a crisis.”

You can follow the campaign by searching on your socials for #BeWinterWise