How to be good ‘winter neighbours’

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

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.

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

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’ to download from Public Health England about planning for cold weather.