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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Council urges residents to be good winter neighbours

 

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we encourage people to be good ‘winter neighbours’.

As the weather turns colder, Cheshire East Council is urging residents to be good ‘winter neighbours’ by checking in on their friends and neighbours – especially if they are older or have health problems.

They may need your help and support to prepare for the lower temperatures and a phonecall or knock at the door can also prevent them from feeling isolated.

It is also worth considering and checking if someone’s home is warm enough. Living rooms should be heated to 21C and bedrooms to 18C.

It is also a good idea to find out if your neighbour has enough food and medication to prevent them from having to go out in very cold or icy weather.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for communities and health, said: “We recognise that while winter and the festive season can be an exciting time for our residents, it can also be a very lonely and worrying time for some.

“That’s why the council will be issuing advice and information throughout winter to help our residents to prepare for the colder weather. We are also encouraging residents to be good ‘winter neighbours’ and take the time to check on people who might need their help.

“It can make all the difference to them and helps to ease pressure on urgent and emergency health services at a critical time of the year.

“Residents can also help by finding out what support services are available in their area and taking the information to family, friends and neighbours, who need extra help.”

Here are a few tips on how to be a good winter neighbour:

● Check on elderly neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe and well and prevent them from becoming lonely;

● Make sure they have enough food and medicines to prevent them having to go out in very cold or icy weather;

● Give your telephone number to elderly neighbours so they can contact you for help;

● Check their home is warm enough;

● Keep drives and footpaths clear of snow and ice for your neighbours. Advice is available from Cheshire East Highways about clearing snow and ice.

The council is also encouraging residents to always be on the lookout for signs that something might be wrong with a neighbour, friend or vulnerable member of the community. Warning signs include:

● Milk still out on the doorstep late in the day;

● Newspapers and post stuck in the letterbox;

● Curtains drawn during the day;

● Lights on during the day;

● A home in darkness when there should be someone at home;

● A dog barking all day or the cat scratching to be let in;

● Bins not put out on collection days.

There are a range of services available through the community and voluntary sector in Cheshire East that can help people stay safe and well during the colder months. Call 01270 763100 for further information or visit: www.cvsce.org.uk/contact

The British Red Cross has a useful app that can be downloaded which features practical advice and gives warnings of severe weather. It is available online at: www.redcross.org.uk/emergencyapp

There are also ‘action cards’ from Public Health England about planning for cold weather. They are available using this link: goo.gl/IacLPp

For safeguarding concerns about the welfare or safety of a particular adult, call 0300 1235010 (weekdays from 8:30am-5pm) or 0300 1235022 outside these hours.

The family information service can be contacted on 0300 1235033 and for concerns about the welfare or safety of a child, call 0300 1235012 (weekdays from 8.30am-5pm) or 0300 1235022 outside these hours.

For domestic abuse assistance, call the 24-hour Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub helpline on 0300 1235101.

For further winter-related advice, visit: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/winter

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