Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn

Kieran Quinn's Blog  

Councillor Kieran Quinn

Stay Well This Winter

Friday, 10 November 2017

No matter what the meteorologists say, the month of November always feels like the beginning of winter to me. The clocks have gone back and the nights have truly started to draw in. That means evening markets, snow and visits from Santa Claus, but it also means that we need to start offering advice and a helping hand to those who may be left vulnerable over the next few months. That’s why we’ve joined forces with NHS Tameside and Glossop to make sure everybody can stay well this winter.

A quick reminder before I get into things. Don’t forget that if you’re pregnant, a parent of a young child, over 65, a carer or living with a long term health condition you may be eligible for a free flu jab. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I really cannot stress it enough. If you’re eligible and haven’t got it yet, please get in touch with your GP or pharmacist as soon as possible. Not only will you be helping yourself, you’ll be helping to relieve the winter pressure on our hard-stretched health services.

Beyond that, there are a variety of different things you can do to stay well this winter, regardless of your age, health or life circumstances. Some of the steps are applicable no matter what the season. As much as you can, make sure that you get a decent night’s sleep, eat properly and stay active. If you want to turn on your heating, try and get your house to a minimum of 17 degrees and wear suitable indoor clothing. Remember that the vast majority of houses (especially ones with modern insulation) will remain warm for several hours if you keep windows and doors closed. The NHS, the British Red Cross and the Met Office all have their own advice on preparing on winter, and they’re well worth a look if you have a few minutes to spare.

As well as looking after yourself, there’s a lot you can do to look after others as well. When it comes to the elderly and vulnerable, the Council and NHS will do as much as they can, but there is no substitute for communities rallying together. Popping round every day to check on an elderly or disabled neighbour or arranging to get shopping for them if they’re stuck in due to the weather. Simple things like that can make a world of difference. Tameside Housing Advice can also offer information and support if you are at risk of, or know someone at risk of, going through the winter without a roof over their head.

Last but not least, even with the gritting lorries going at full speed it’s pretty likely that most of us will have to drive through some pretty foul weather at some point in the next few months. Not just snow and ice, but darkness, fog, hail, rain and flooding can also make driving significantly more difficult. Make sure that, first and foremost, you look after yourselves and other while you’re on the road. The RAC and the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents have some useful advice on how to do just that.  

Let’s remember that despite all the talks of “weather bombs” and “polar vortexes” that we’ve heard about the vast majority of people have gotten through, and will continue to get through, the winter with no harm done. That being said, taking some sensible precautions and being a bit more aware of ourselves and others over the next few months will reduce the chances of anything untoward happening to the absolute minimum. So enjoy the mulled wine and the Christmas run up, but remember to keep warm, keep well, and keep safe too.

Posted by: Kieran Quinn

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