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Keep well in winter

Banner - keeping wellImportant information

If you are concerned about the welfare of a vulnerable or elderly person who may not be coping during this cold weather, please call Tower Hamlets Connect on 0300 303 6070. 

If you are concerned about a homeless person during the winter months, please check our tips on ways you can help and use the StreetLink website.

Preparing for the wintry season can help minimise the risk of illness and disruption caused by the cold weather. See more information on:


As temperatures continue to drop there are a few things you can do to benefit your health and home over the winter months.

Flu jabStaying well

Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist

Speak to your pharmacist about medicines you can stock up on, treatment options for coughs and colds and minor injuries.

If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.

Winter is the busiest time of year for the NHS, which puts pressure on GPs and hospitals. Many common winter illnesses can be treated at home with over the counter products and rest.

If you need help, call the free NHS helpline on 111, available 24 hours a day or visit the NHS website which can direct you to a local health service.

Make sure you get your flu jab

This year it's more important than ever to get your flu jab to protect yourself as well as others from severe complications, particularly for high risk groups. 

Eligible groups for the free flu vaccine include those aged 65 or over, pregnant women, small children or if you have a long-term health condition. You can speak to your GP or pharmacist or book your jab online. You can also find more information on the NHS website.

Protect yourself against Covid-19

If you are not yet vaccinated against Covid-19 – book your appointment now. Everyone aged 16 and over is eligible for vaccination. There are lots of clinics locally offering jabs with options including walk ins.

Those aged 50 and over and some at-risk groups are also eligible for a Covid-19 booster jab.

Keeping and staying warm



It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

  • Set your heating: keep warm by setting your heating to the right temperature (18-21°C).
  • Take care of those close to you: Look out for friends, family and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold. Keep an eye out for each other and where possible, call in to check those most vulnerable are OK.
  • House maintenance: think about what may be impacted by strong winds or flooding – guttering, pipes, roof tiles/slates, garden items and things stored on your ground floor. Check your pipes are insulated and know where your water stop tap is. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and keep up with your energy bills by reading the keep well, keep warm guidance.
  • Stock-up on basics: make sure you have basic supplies in case you have to leave home quickly or your power and water are disrupted. Speak to your pharmacist about medicines you can stock up on, treatment options for coughs and colds and minor injuries.
  • Use appliances wisely: contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly and ensure appliances are checked regularly.
  • Eat well: regular hot meals and drinks helps keep your energy levels up. Try to make sure you continue eating five fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Stay active: exercise is always good for you and can help keep you warm. Even if you are indoors, moderate exercise can bring health benefits.
  • Layer up: wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant and good grip soles.
  • Insulate your hot water tank: this will only cost about £10 and you'll get your money back in under a year. Set the thermostat on the hot water tank to 60°C / 140°F
  • Radiator shelves and reflectors: putting radiator reflectors or kitchen foil behind the radiator can help heat reflect into a room rather than being lost to the wall or the ceiling.
  • Room heaters: if you need an individual room heater for additional heat, or if you do not have central heating, the most efficient type is a thermostatically controlled convector heater with timer.
  • Get your flu jab: If you haven’t already, get your flu jab.    
  • Prepare your vehicles:  top up anti-freeze screen wash, check your tyres and think about a winter kit for your vehicle.

For more information visit the energy efficiency page.


This year has seen an increase in the number of people experiencing isolation due to household lockdowns and social distancing. Many organisations have risen to the challenge by mobilising volunteers to provide much-needed social contacts as well as other essentials. 

You can read more information on local services and support on our Tackling Loneliness page. 

Winter gritting

We have a winter service procedure in place to deal with frost, hoar frost and snow fall. Find out more on our winter weather and gritting page.

Waste collections

Bad weather shouldn't usually affect your normal collection day but in extreme cases, it might not be possible. 

We will reschedule your collection and attempt to pick up the relevant waste items once the weather improves.

If your waste still hasn't been collected, you can report it to us