Being cold isn't just uncomfortable, it can also be very bad for your health, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
- Top tips for keeping warm and well this winter - read the government's guidance about heating your home, getting financial support and looking after yourself.
- Visit our Warm Spaces - our Warm Spaces offer a free, warm, safe and welcoming place where you can enjoy a hot drink, activities and access to other services.
- Home improvements, insulation and repairs - you may be able to apply for free home improvements, insulation and repairs to help keep you warm this winter.
- Contact your energy supplier if you're struggling to pay bills - under Ofgem rules, your supplier must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford.
- Contact Citizens Advice for Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale and Trafford - Citizens Advice offers free, impartial, confidential advice for any problem, including energy bills.
Prepare your home for winter weather
There are several tasks you can do to prepare your home and garden for winter weather.
- Winter home advice - includes advice from the Met Office on how to prepare your home for severe weather, what to do if you have a frozen or burst pipe and what to do in a power cut.
- Avoid a burst water pipe - United Utilities shows you the simple steps you can take to avoid a burst or frozen pipe as the temperature drops.
- Flooding - prepare for a flood and what to do if you've been affected by a flood.
- Home Fire Safety Assessments - apply to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue for a free home assessment to reduce and prevent fire risks.
- Power cuts and emergencies - information on power cuts from Electricity North West.
- Register for Electricity North West's Extra Care - If you think you might struggle during a power cut, you can sign up for Electricity North West's Extra Care for free. This is designed for people with particular needs. For example, if you need medical equipment in your home, older people, or families with young children.
Money, debt and benefit advice
We offer a wide range of money, debt and benefit advice. This includes advice about money, energy bills, childcare, food banks, and more.
Stay well and healthy
Winter weather brings several health risks.
- COVID-19 vaccines and boosters - the impact of COVID-19 may be worse in the winter. You may be able to get a vaccine or booster.
- Flu jabs - the flu vaccine is free for people over 50 years old or who have certain health conditions.
- Living Well Rochdale - provides support and coaching around exercising, stopping smoking, and feeling better about yourself.
- Your Trust - offers a range of activities at sports and leisure centres to keep you active and healthy throughout winter.
- Get advice if you feel unwell - you can get help and advice from:
- Your local pharmacy for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a doctor.
- Your GP may be able to speak with you online, over the phone, or in a face-to-face appointment.
- NHS 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you're not sure what to do. NHS 111 online
Keep in touch with friends, family and your community. It's important to check on elderly or vulnerable relatives or neighbours during bad weather.
- Apply to borrow a laptop or tablet - you may be able to borrow a laptop or tablet from your local DigiTech Library to use at home. You can also apply for free data.
- Community Champions - if you need someone to talk to, you can contact Community Champions to chat about your mental health, get support with debt and benefits, and get help connecting with other people online.
- HMR Circle - a membership-based service for people aged over 50. They have a monthly calendar of social events including meals, day trips, and more. They also have volunteers who can help with gardening, housework and technology.
- Rochdale and District Mind - if you're struggling with your mental health, you can get support from Mind. They can support you through one-to-one sessions, counselling, support groups and wellbeing courses.
Help your community
Look out for each other - it's important to check on elderly or vulnerable relatives or neighbours during bad weather.
- Clear snow from a road, path or cycleway - it’s unlikely that you’ll be sued or held responsible if someone is injured on a path or pavement if you’ve cleared it carefully.
- Contribute to a food bank - if you're able to, please consider donating food or money to a local food bank:
- Rochdale Foodbank - located on South Parade, Rochdale OL16 1LR and Wesley Street, Smallbridge OL12 9RW.
- Heywood Food Bank - located on Adelaide Street, Heywood OL10 4HE.
- Middleton Central Foodbank - located in Middleton Shopping Centre, Limetrees Road, Middleton M24 4EL.
Travelling during the winter months can make driving or catching public transport more difficult.
- Driving in severe weather - advice from the Met Office about how to drive safely in severe weather.
- Travel tips and advice - advice from the Met Office about vehicle checks, how the weather affects travel and preparing a winter kit for your car.
- Report a leak - tell United Utilities if you’ve spotted a leak on a road or footpath.
- Traffic and travel updates - check traffic updates before you set off.