Joining up help and support has been the order of the day as Leeds City Council and partners share support, advice and help to make the area a healthier and safer place this winter.
The WinterWise campaign has seen advice about a wide range of help and support brought under one banner, from fighting flu to cutting bills and keeping warm, the city is linking as many ways to look after the health and wellbeing of people in the city as colder weather and dark nights are about.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The council delivers services across so many areas, and even at a time of cuts, we are offering help, advice and and support to people in many different ways.
“We are also joining up with colleagues in health and emergency services and the third sector to find ways to make sure people in Leeds can have a safe festive period and cope with the impact of colder weather.
“People can do lots to help themselves, and we’ve brought lots of ideas about how they can do this together in our Winter Wise booklet which can be downloaded for free from the council website.”
With the council responsible for so many services affected by cold weather and seasonal issues, teams from across the organisation are also linking with other organisations to make sure the work they do has as much impact as possible.
The Winter Wise information can be seen at: www.leeds.gov.uk/winterwise
Local GPs and social care teams are to ensure elderly people at risk are aware of the support available for them and the importance of flu vaccination.
At the same time, gritting teams and housing workers are geared up to recognise risks and report potential issues to teams who can offer appropriate support.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said: “We know that keeping warm can make a huge difference to health risks for older people, so to have housing colleagues helping make sure that those at risk are made aware of the support they can get, is an obvious but vital step we can make.
“We’re investing in insulation, new boilers and a range of other help for council tenants, which will help improve health and reduce hospital admissions. It’s good for people and good for dealing with rising costs too.”
The council has also linked together other cold weather related information and advice such as Met Office and WY Metro.
Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “We’ve been making progress in recent years, but knew we could make things better.
“By having cold weather messages across the council website and on relevant partner websites along with downloadable resources in one place, it is easier for service users and providers to get practical advice and to make the most of the campaign.
“There will almost certainly be more that we can do in future years and we look forward to hearing from people to see how we can improve things in future years.”