Volunteers have helped share nearly 45,000 information packs about how vulnerable people can stay warm and well this winter.

The volunteers have shared the packs by giving their time at over 60 clinics across the county for people eligible for free flu jabs.

There are around 180 extra deaths every year in Cambridgeshire linked to the cold weather.  The volunteers have been on hand providing a friendly face at the clinics and to make sure people get the message about how to keep well during cold weather.

The volunteers are from a number of local organisations, including Age UK, Care Network Cambridgeshire, Carers' Trust Cambridgeshire and the Cambridgeshire Fire Service volunteer arm, Groundworks

People who would like to volunteer for a local organisation to help vulnerable people over Christmas and over the winter period can find opportunities at www.do-it.org/

The activities are part of a local campaign to promote good health during the winter, which involves a range or organisations including Cambridgeshire County Council. These simple tips can help keep yourself, friends and family stay well this winter:

1.      Heat the home well. Heat the home to a minimum of 18°C (65°F), and make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. Above this and people may be wasting money; below this and there is a risk health. This will keep the home warm and may lower the bills.

2    Get financial support. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make the home more energy efficient, improve the heating, or help with bills.

3.      Eat well and have plenty of fluids. Food and water are vital sources of energy; they help keep a person's body warm. People should make sure they and their family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

4.      Get a flu vaccination. Certain groups can get a free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu, including the over 65s, pregnant women, people with a long term illness or if someone is the main carer of an elderly or disabled person. Free flu jabs are available from your GPs and some pharmacies.

5.      Look after yourself and others. On cold days try to avoid going outside. If a person does need to venture out, they need to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. Look out for an older or vulnerable neighbour or relative during this winter to make sure they are safe and well.

For further local information on staying warm and well this winter, including grants call 03456500280.

Paola Moore, an Age UK volunteer who volunteered at a local clinic, said: "I enjoyed volunteering at the flu clinic as I felt that I was helping vulnerable elderly people by explaining the packs and about Age U.K.'s services. It was really rewarding as some of the older people just wanted to chat with someone who had time to listen."

Ruth McCallum at Care Network, added: "I'd like to thank all those amazing volunteers who helped out at the flu vaccination clinics. They played a really important role by putting people at ease and providing a friendly and often familiar face. They were also there to share valuable advice about how to keep warm and stay well this winter. If you are eligible for a free flu jab, it's not too late and you can get one at your GP or your local pharmacy."

Paul Clarke from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue, said: ""We're very grateful for the work done by all the volunteers. Their commitment has helped us to distribute nearly 45,000 winter information packs, which is remarkable. If the weather becomes really cold this winter, it is this kind of advice that can help vulnerable people stay well."  

Cambridgeshire County Council is working with a range of local organisations to promote staying warm and well this winter. Partners include Care Network Cambridgeshire, Age UK Cambridgeshire, Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, Uniting Care and District Councils.


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