Volunteers work to help cut deaths in Cambridgeshire linked to cold weather

flu jab

flu jab - Credit: Archant

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 Cambridgeshire 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/

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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:

• 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.

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• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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 0345-6500280.

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