19 December 2022

British Red Cross publishes advice for staying warm this winter

For further informationpress@redcross.org.uk 020 7877 7557 / 07710 391 703

Spokespeople: Chris Davies, Head of Crisis and Emergency Response. Interviews available on request.

As the cold snap continues with freezing temperatures across the UK, the British Red Cross has published advice for households on staying warm this winter. The guidance covers keeping yourself warm, keeping your house warm, staying warm at night, finding a warm space and getting help with your energy bill.

The UK is already experiencing a bitterly cold winter, with the UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) issuing and extending a level three cold weather alert for all of England this month. Our bodies need to be kept at a core temperature of 37C to stay healthy and so rooms should be at least 18C.

Winter poses a particular risk for respiratory or heart conditions. The cold air makes it harder for people with these conditions to breathe and makes the heart work harder to keep the body warm. Whilst the ongoing cost of living crisis makes it much harder for people to keep themselves and their homes warm this winter.

Chris Davies, Head of Crisis Response at the British Red Cross said:

“We know families across the UK are worried about how they’ll keep themselves, their families and their homes warm this winter. We’ve heard heart-breaking stories in recent months of people being forced to choose between heating and eating as they try and endure the cost of living crisis.

“Our advice has simple, cost-effective tips for keeping yourself, friends and vulnerable neighbours warm during this cold winter. Things like wearing several layers of clothing and using thicker or extra duvets can make a big difference. Whilst eating properly, using draught excluders and opening and closing curtains in the morning and at sunset can all help you and your home retain heat.

“We understand that for some, even following all these steps won’t be enough to stay warm. That’s why we’re signposting the help available for those struggling. The freezing temperatures we’re experiencing can also impact people’s wellbeing, leaving them isolated and lonely. Our National Support Line is there to help – whether it is for practical tips on how to stay warm or if you need someone to listen and provide emotional support.

The British Red Cross advice for keeping warm this winter includes:

  • Wearing plenty of layers of clothes
  • Eating well and drinking plenty of hot drinks
  • Moving around regularly
  • Opening curtains in the morning and closing them when the sun sets
  • Using a draught excluder
  • Avoiding condensation on windows
  • Using extra bedding, heated blankets, thick pyjamas and hot water bottles to stay warm at night
  • Finding a warm hub
  • Getting support from governments, energy companies and civic society with energy bills.

The British Red Cross has a national support line people can call to get more information about services in their area. People can also receive emotional support from volunteers using the line. The line is available between 10am-5pm Monday to Friday and 10am-8pm on Wednesdays.


Notes to editor:

The British Red Cross’ advice on staying warm this winter can be found here.