Winter Warmth Helpline
Winter Warmth Helpline
As temperatures drop, it is important people keep warm and well. Cold weather can lead to serious health problems and can kill.
Staying warm in the winter months is important for everyone. It is especially important to stay warm if you are an older person or elderly, disabled or in a vulnerable group due to a health condition. It is important for children under 5 to stay warm too. Get the flu jab if you are in this group.
Winter Warmth Helpline - 0121 704 8080 - Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm
The Solihull Winter Warmth Helpline is available Monday to Friday between 9.00am to 5.00pm for urgent help with:
- finding a tradesperson for emergency repairs
- an emergency heater if your central heating system breaks down
- an electric blanket if you cannot afford to heat your bedroom
- warm clothing if you are struggling to afford it
- emergency food supplies
The helpline is available all year, which means you can contact the team throughout the year for tips to stay warm and information about:
- heating bills and making your home energy efficient
- grants and loans to insulate your home or install/replace central heating
- debt advice and assistance to pay bills
- advice for when the weather turns hot
The Solihull Directory may also have providers and organisations that can help you stay warm in winter.
Older people and young children
Older people and children under 5 are especially vulnerable to the effects of the cold and developing health conditions. This is particularly the case for colds and flu. Pneumonia and bronchitis are common too.
- for those most vulnerable, spending just 2 hours in temperatures of 12°C increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes
- ensure you are well wrapped-up in multiple layers when out and about
- most slips and falls happen during the winter months, take extra care in icy conditions, wear footwear with a good grip and only go out when necessary
Vulnerable people should try to keep moving, even if you are staying indoors, during a cold snap, with the:
- NHS providing excellent advice for exercising while sitting down
- keeping active page offering good advice
Help others and plan in advance
If you have heart or respiratory problems, very cold snaps can be particularly dangerous.
You should stay inside when this happens and keep up to date with weather reports.
If you have friends, relatives and neighbours who are also prone to the cold, it is also good to check on them.
Eating a healthy diet throughout the cold months is also important and you can get help and advice if you -
It is also good to try and stay active with exercise when it is cold.
Help to heat your home
There are a number of helpful schemes for older and vulnerable people in Solihull to help keep you warm through the winter months. These schemes include discounts on your bills and extra payments to help with meeting the cost of the cold.
If you qualify you could get help from the:
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
You should automatically receive this discount if you are eligible and your provider is a member of the scheme.
You are entitled to the discount if on 9 July 2018:
- your energy supplier was part of the scheme
- your name (or your partner’s name) was on the bill
- you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
For a full list of energy providers that are members of the scheme and for further details on eligibility, you can visit the GOV.UK website.
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment provides an automatic payment of between £100 to £300, tax-free, to you if were born on or before January 5 1953.
You should automatically receive this discount if you get the state pension.
For further information about the scheme, to see whether you qualify, and to make a claim, visit the GOV.UK website.
Cold Weather Payment
Provided by the Pension Service, the Cold Weather Payment offers a payment of £25 for every 7 day period of cold weather with an average temperature of 0 degrees Celsius or below.
You should automatically receive this discount if you have Pension Credit or get income related benefits meeting set criteria.
For further information about the scheme and eligibility, you can visit the GOV.UK website.
Other heating benefits are also available including:
- the National Concessionary Fuel Scheme for ex-coal industry employees which you can also find out about at the Gov.UK website
- the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive which is open to those using renewable heat in their homes. You can find out who it’s for, the rules for joining and how you can apply from the Ofgem website
Top tips to stay warm
As well as cold and flu being a greater risk for everyone, it is easy to develop other seasonal conditions.
Being cold at home is one of the most significant reasons people suffer with these health issues in the winter.
As well as making sure you keep active, one of the best ways to keep fit and well during the winter is to simply wrap up warm.
Some other great tips for staying warm in your home at winter are:
- keeping internal doors closed to stop draughts
- having at least one hot meal each day
- drinking hot drinks throughout the day
- closing your curtains when it starts to get dark
- keeping your home warm (your main living are should be between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius)
- wearing warm clothes in bed when it’s really cold (onesies, thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat are great )
- keeping bedroom windows closed, especially at night
- using a hot-water bottle or electric blanket in bed (but not both at the same time)
- ensuring your home is well insulated