Support available for families over the Christmas holidays
The Christmas holidays are almost upon us.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
However, we know that many families in our borough will be facing challenging times over the weeks ahead.
The rising cost of heating our homes, increases in the prices of food and other essential items and the ongoing cold weather are all issues we are acutely concerned about.
I wanted to let you know that whatever issues you are facing, help is available over the Christmas holidays.
Hounslow Council and its partners have opened a network of warm spaces across our borough – some of which will be open over the holiday period.
Here, you will find a warm welcome and a place to stay warm if you are struggling to heat your home. Many provide warm drinks and other refreshments, free wi-fi and activities for parents and children.
Keeping warm is important for maintaining good health. Our warm spaces are free to use and open to everyone.
You can find your nearest warm space here: hounslow.gov.uk/
Cost of Living Support
If you are struggling to make ends meet due to rising prices then please be assured that information and support are available.
We have created a Cost-of-Living Hub on Hounslow Council’s website: hounslow.gov.uk/costofliving
Here you can find information about what financial support is available from the government for families who are struggling.
You can access debt advice and support with managing your finances and find help with reducing your energy bills. You can also check if your children are eligible for free school meals.
More information about what is on offer for children is also available from the Hounslow Family Service Directory:http://hounslow.
Your Family’s Health
Our local NHS health services are facing unprecedented pressure now. So, we must do as much as we can to keep ourselves fit and well.
Many groups of people in our borough are entitled to free COVID-19 boosters and flu vaccinations. They offer your best protection against becoming seriously ill if you catch these viruses.
I would urge you to protect your family, your community and yourself by taking advantage of these vaccinations.
They are available from your GP, pharmacy and many other locations. To find out more, visit: hounslow.gov.uk/
You can find lots of information about local health services and childhood illnesses on the Hounslow Healthier Together website.
This includes information on how to manage your child’s illness at home, when to contact your pharmacist or GP, and, on the rare times when you need more immediate urgent care, how to access this.
Please visit: healthiertogether.hrch.nhs.
We know that many parents are also concerned about other illnesses that we have seen increase over recent weeks.
This winter, the NHS is encouraging people to get the help they need by using the NHS 111 online service.
This service can assess and direct you to the most appropriate local help, including treatment centres, GP surgeries or your pharmacist. The service can also arrange a call back from a health professional if needed.
If you need medical help fast, use NHS 111 online to get assessed and directed to the right place for you.
Once again, I would like to wish you a safe and happy Christmas.
Director of Public Health,