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Stay warm and well this winter

Older people and those with certain health conditions may struggle to keep warm during the winter period. Here are some tips to help you and the person you care for stay warm and well this winter.

Insulate yourself and your home

Sometimes the simplest tips are the best. Keep yourself warm inside and out by:

> Wearing multiple layers to trap in heat.

> Closing curtains in the evening to keep the warmth in, and fitting thermal linings if possible.

> Eating a hot meal at least once a day. Meals on Wheels provides hot meal deliveries in Croydon for eligible residents.

> Staying as active as possible - even gentle exercise can help keep you warm.

> Using a hot water bottle or electric blanket in bed. Never use a hot water bottle and electric blanket together, as this can be dangerous.

> Making good use of your heating timer and thermostat, if you have these.

> Making sure your property is well-insulated - for example, draught-proofing doors and windows, and insulating the loft.

Croydon Healthy Homes

The Croydon Healthy Homes scheme helps eligible Croydon residents, including carers, save money on their heating and energy bills. To access the scheme, you must own or privately rent your own home.

If you are eligible, an energy assessor will visit your home and provide personalised advice. They can also fit small energy-saving devices, provide support with switching supplier and suggest larger energy-saving improvements. For more information, call 0800 292 2529.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

Under this national scheme, larger energy suppliers fund the installation of energy efficiency measures to individual homes. This may include loft or wall insulation, and other heat-saving measures. You must own your own home or have the landlord’s permission to take part. For details, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or visit www.energysavingadvice.co.uk.

Switch energy supplier

You may be able save up to hundreds of pounds on your bills by switching energy supplier. For information on switching to save, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040 506.

Cold Weather Payments

If you receive certain benefits, such as Pension Credit, Income Support or Universal Credit, you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment. This applies if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days. You’ll receive £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Winter Fuel Payment

You may be entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5 November 1953, saving you up to £100 to £300 on your heating bills.

If you receive State Pension or another welfare benefit, you should receive Winter Fuel Payment automatically. If you’re eligible but do not get paid automatically, you can make a claim by calling 0800 731 0160.

Warm Home Discount

You could get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. If you are eligible, you will receive a one-off discount on your electricity bill between September and March.

You may be entitled to the discount if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, or if you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria. Check with your energy supplier for details.

More information

For more information staying warm and well, visit the NHS website. You can also visit the Carers Support Centre in George Street and speak to an Advice Worker about your caring query.

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