The cold and damp weather of winter, ice, snow and high winds can all make existing health problems worse and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.
It is important to keep warm in winter – both when you’re inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
This winter, Norfolk’s libraries are taking part in the Warm Welcome campaign. Click here to find out more about what’s on offer, and to find your nearest library.
On this page you’ll find tips and advice to help you stay warm. Use the links below to jump to the topic you’re interested in.
Make your home warmer
- Are you living in a cold home? Make sure you’re getting the support you’re eligible for so you can keep your home warm. The organisations below offer expert advice on ways you can keep your home warm and save money, including information on boiler services and insulation. Book these services in early to warm your home efficiently this winter.
Norfolk: visit Norfolk Warm Homes at www.norfolkwarmhomes.org.uk or call 01603 430103
Waveney: visit Warm Homes Suffolk at www.warmhomessuffolk.org/ or call on 03456 037 686
- Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re eligible for to keep warm. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating, or help with bills. Visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/wintersupport for further information
- Small energy saving measures can have a big impact. The Met Office has tips to keep the heat in your home this winter.
- Check your heating and cooking appliances are safe and efficient. Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly. Visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk.
- Most people born before 6 October 1954 get the Winter Fuel Payment, an annual tax-free payment to help with heating costs. To find out more about this, ring the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160.
- Check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier. This means you can get extra help and support if there’s a power cut.
Keeping warm indoors
- Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer at 21°C (70°F). If you can’t heat all your rooms, heat your living room during the day and your bedroom before you go to bed.
- Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights. Breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
- Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour as that can cause your muscles to tighten up, which can increase the risk of falling. Get up, stretch your legs, and make yourself a warm drink. For more ideas on keeping active indoors visit Top Tips to Stay Well.
- Wear several layers of light clothes. Several layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer.
- Food provides energy and helps to keep your body warm. Eat regular meals and drink hot drinks.
Keeping warm outdoors
- All of Norfolk’s 47 libraries will be open this winter as part of the national Warm Welcome campaign. The scheme supports free, warm, and welcoming spaces in communities. Norfolk libraries will be open to all, providing a space for people to sit in comfort and access a variety of services on offer. These include reading, doing a jigsaw, playing a board game, or joining in Just a Cuppa or activities.
Other free services available at Norfolk libraries include: tea, coffee, instant soup, and hot chocolate are available during staffed hours; Library staff and volunteers can provide visitors with trusted information about other support which is available; and a variety of bags are available for free, with no questions asked.
Find your nearest library at www.norfolk.gov.uk/findalibrary
- Over 3,000 registered organisations have opened or are opening up free, warm, welcoming spaces for the public over this winter across the UK. Find your nearest free Warm Space in Norfolk and Waveney at www.warmwelcome.uk
- If you’re going outside in cold weather, cover your mouth with a scarf. Breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
- Be sure to wear sturdy shoes with a good grip if it’s cold and icy outside to protect your feet and reduce the risk of falling.