Keeping Warm and Safe

Cumbria Community Foundation supported by Age UK West Cumbria has produced this fact sheet as part of the Winter Warmth Campaign to give some simple easy to follow tips to help people keep warm.

Winter can be a difficult time for many people. Some older people find it difficult to pay bills and heat their homes and may have to choose between paying for heating or eating. Poor weather conditions can cause isolation among many vulnerable people including the elderly as they are unable to go out.

Tips to keep warm in winter

We all know/might know someone that may be vulnerable to the effects of the cold this winter. We can help them to keep warm and be healthy by encouraging them to follow a few simple steps:

  • Wear several thin layers to help trap warm air close to the body
  • Wear clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics
  • Wear warm clothes in bed and if it’s really cold, consider wearing a hat
  • Cut out draughts and stop heat escaping by drawing curtains
  • Keep any windows and internal doors closed when it’s cold – this will keep heat inside
  • Have regular hot meals and warm drinks
  • Keep moving, even doing chair-based activities like wiggling your toes
  • If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide extra warmth
  • Make sure you have a flu jab
  • Have your heating system serviced regularly
  • Fit thermal linings to curtains to help to keep the heat in
  • Get help with heating costs, useful organisations to contact are listed below

How to save money on energy bills

Some tips to reduce energy-use and keep fuel costs down:

  • Turn off the lights if you are not in the room
  • Don’t leave electrical items on standby
  • Only boil as much water as you need.
  • Turn off any electrical chargers once finished
  • Avoid blocking radiators

Useful organisations to contact

  • Phone 0800 169 65650 to claim a free ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ information guide from Age UK
  • If you were born on or before 26 Sept 1955 you can claim the Winter Fuel payment. Contact your local Citizens Advice for more information call 0344 4111 444.
  • Cumbria libraries offer a home delivery service for people who are unable to visit the library because of mobility problems or ill health. Contact your local library here.
  • Choose is a price comparison site with helpful guides on getting help with paying your fuel bills and home insulation and boilers for free.
  • There are free grants from Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council for heating repairs and for first-time central heating or boiler servicing. You do not have to be on welfare benefits to qualify. Grants are available regardless of fuel type and some grants are available even to private rented residents.
  • Winter Home Insulation Guide for the Elderly This guide contains plenty of helpful information such as: Practical winter advice and home insulation tips for elderly people, especially those living independently. Helpful tips on how to deal with loneliness, isolation, and looking after the safety and well-being of seniors living alone. Information about energy grants, winter assistance programs, and other cold-weather benefits that the elderly are eligible for. Other useful information on boilers, cold weather payments, and discount and energy grants to help seniors save on energy bills.
  • Cold to Cosy Homes: The project will help 600 households in Cumbria cut the costs of heating their home. Home Energy advisors will provide in-home energy assessments as well as face to face and telephone advice to people to improved energy saving and draught-proofing measures. It offers free energy- saving advice and equipment, along with referrals for a range of other support to help people make their house warmer and more comfortable. Please find a short video of what’s on offer and who is eligible.  Apply online here or call 01768 216500 and email:,
  •  Videos to help prevent damp:
  • Green Doctor is a free service to help UK residents stay warm, stay well, and save money on household bills. View their leaflet here.