Stay Well in Reading this Winter

‘Stay Well in Reading this Winter’ campaign launched

  • Partner organisations across the borough are coming together to deliver the ‘Stay Well in Reading this Winter’ campaign.
  • Data from ONS published this month on the impact of Covid19 on life and wellbeing, suggests people feel significantly less happy and more anxious than before the pandemic. 
  • The campaign aims to address some of the challenges we will all face over the coming winter months and how we can help ourselves, help others and be resilient to the pressures of the pandemic and the new national restrictions.

WITH the cold winter nights now drawing in and as we enter another national lockdown, residents are being encouraged to take a number of steps to stay well over the winter period.

Partner organisations across the borough are coming together to deliver the ‘Stay Well in Reading this Winter’ campaign. Reading Council, alongside the local NHS, Royal Berkshire Hospital and partners in the voluntary sector, this week launched a seven-week winter ‘Stay Well’ campaign.

The campaign will have a different focus each week – starting with important messages around flu vaccinations, when you should call 999/111 and where to seek medical help and advice.

Other topics over the coming months will include:

  • Self-help for mental and physical wellbeing
  • Getting support for victims of domestic abuse
  • Volunteering – how you can help support others
  • Where to get financial help and support to stay warm

The campaign will be underpinned by the principles of the ‘5 ways to Wellbeing’ – connect with other people; be physically active; learn new skills; give to others and pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness).

Data from ONS published this month on the impact of Covid19 on life and wellbeing, suggests people feel significantly less happy and more anxious than before the pandemic.  One of the reasons why this campaign focuses on ways to combat isolation, stress and anxiety.

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Health, said: “Partners across Reading are coming together to promote ‘Stay Well in Reading this Winter.’ This campaign aims to address some of the challenges we will all face over the coming winter months and how we can help ourselves, help others and be resilient to the pressures of the pandemic and the new national restrictions.

“We know that the coming weeks will be a difficult time for many of us in our town.  Winter can increase isolation, loneliness and causes financial hardship for many people worried about paying increased heating bills. This year we face the extra challenges presented by Covid19 - from how and when do we access medical care - to how can we help ourselves to mentally cope, care for others and still feel connected to others. We are calling on people to look after themselves and look out for others - we'll be providing advice on how to spot and support people who may be struggling and where you can go for help and support – for example, if you know an elderly neighbour is finding it hard to keep their house warm, or a friend is finding it hard to cope with the stress of a second lockdown.

“Now more than ever, it is important for us all to support each other, as well as taking time to look after our own mental and physical health – something it is very easy to overlook. Look out for our messages on our social media channels and in our eNewletter. Find out more at: www.reading.gov.uk/winterwellbeing

Dom Hardy, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, said: “Winter always places extra pressures on health services and of course this year our teams have the additional issues around Covid to deal with. We are also working incredibly hard to make sure we continue to provide care for all other patients who need treatment for things like cancer, dialysis, planned surgery, scans and screenings.

“It’s vital that people who have urgent and serious health concerns, for example, suspected heart attacks, stroke or respiratory problems, come to the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) for treatment. And people who find worrying symptoms like lumps or unexplained bleeding, must seek advice from their GP.

“We’d also ask people to help us to help them by doing as much as they can to care for their own health and wellbeing this winter by getting a flu jab and following the ‘hands, space, face, rules. That way we can help ease pressure on our hospital teams so they can help people who need urgent medical care.”

Mr Hardy also reminded people of the range of alternative healthcare options available to local people. This includes pharmacists, NHS 111, online support at 111.nhs.uk, Reading Walk in Centre (appointments now need to be booked via 111) and the Minor Injuries Unit at the RBH.

If residents have any questions on how to access wellbeing services across the borough, please get in touch by emailing wellbeing.service@reading.gov.uk

Ends

 

Notes to editors

Notes

5 Ways to Wellbeing: Twelve years ago, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) reviewed more than 400 scientific papers to identify key things that contribute to our wellbeing. Echoing the familiar ​‘five a day’ message for fruit and veg, they came up with a simple set of postcards aimed at helping individuals to understand and incorporate wellbeing into their everyday lives. This was then adopted by the NHS and now, at a time when people are having to stay home and social distance, some are turning to ​‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ as a way of coping during the coronavirus crisis. (https://neweconomics.org/2020/03/five-ways-to-wellbeing-at-a-time-of-social-distancing)

ONS data on the impact of Covid19 on wellbeing: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/latest#impact-on-life-and-wellbeing