Age Friendly Leeds: Winter Friends

WINTER IS COMING. That’s right, the Age Friendly Leeds (Leeds City Council) Winter Friends campaign is back and they are armed with shiny new owl badges.

What is Winter Friends?  Winter Friends is a growing city wide network of organisations and professionals in Leeds who can join together to tackle the effects of cold weather on vulnerable people as part of the national STAY WELL THIS WINTER campaign.  On the whole, Winter Friends carry on with their normal day to day work. But as a Winter Friend they will make their contact with vulnerable residents count by focusing on completing a simple Winter Wellbeing Checklist with support from a visual prompt card. Winter Friends help vulnerable residents live independently by informing them about social activities and important services that will help them over winter.  

What can I get from being a Winter Friend?  Joining Winter Friends means FREE ACCESS to information and promotional material from the Public Health Resource Centre. FREE online training in promoting the high impact interventions or dependent on need a FREE 30 minute delivery of the Winter friends workshop which will talk you through the different partner organisations and what it means to part of a growing network. 

The FREE promotional material including a winter wellbeing checklist, prompt cards and thermometer cards act as a reminder to people to get their flu vaccinations, take their medication, keep their homes warm and increase physical activity. 

What issue does Winter Friends tackle?  Winter friends tackles CITY WIDE issues such as social isolation (we can refer people on to neighbourhood networks and social groups in their areas) and fuel poverty (our collaboration with the warmth for wellbeing service provides information and advice on how to heat your home affordably).

What impact does Winter Friends have?   Becoming a winter friend could save someone’s life. For many, the winter blues might mean someone doesn’t go out as often during the week but for some, this could mean going months without any form of meaningful contact. In targeting the Winter Friends campaign towards vulnerable people we are opening the avenues up for promoting advice and support which are available. This could be the first time in months which anyone has took an interest to ask about someone’s wellbeing.  

What do I need to do to become a Winter Friend?   All it takes is registering your interest by emailing [email protected] and completing the free online training to gain access to a growing network of Winter Friends. As soon as this is done, you can contact the public health resource centre in Chapel Allerton at [email protected] to receive your registration pack containing all the vital resources which is a must as a Winter Friend. 

Find a local Winter Friend If you know someone who may need a bit of extra help over the winter such as an older neighbour, family members or friend then contact the Helpline Leeds Directory 0113 3918333 or visit Leeds Directory to find your local Winter Friend.

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