Stay safe and healthy this festive season
The cold weather is definitely setting in again, but that doesn’t mean social lives have ground to a halt. However, if your destination is the pub or a club and you’re drinking alcohol, it’s important that you take extra care in the cold!
Grab a bite
Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol, stopping it going to your head too quickly. Carbs or protein such as pasta, potatoes and chicken are good to eat before or while you’re out drinking.
They’ll keep you full, and the slow release of energy will help you last the distance. You’ll be more tempted to avoid that guilty 2am kebab or chips too.
It’s not a race
It takes up to an hour for your body to process each unit of alcohol. So have a break between drinks. Skinny, short, male, female… everyone copes with alcohol differently, so why try and keep up with your friends? Turning down a drink is much less embarrassing than throwing one up.
Finish your drink too quickly and you’ll feel pressured to get another. Instead, make your drink (and your night) last longer or alternate an alcoholic drink with a soft drink or water.
If you are concerned about your drinking or that of someone else Turning Point can help:
Phone: 0300 555 0234
5 Greaves Street
It’s a great idea to plan your journey home – as part of their Christmas campaign, Greater Manchester Police will be out and about stopping motorists to test them for alcohol and drugs. If you’re found guilty of drink driving you could lose your licence, get a £5,000 fine, be sentenced to up to six months in prison. Don’t risk it.
- Book a taxi before you go out and take their contact number with you. You can always rearrange the time you want to be picked up
- Make sure you have minicab numbers in your phone (or details of the nearest taxi rank) and enough money to pay for your journey
- Use a firm that will text you the number plate of the car that’s coming to get you. This avoids any confusion of what car to get into
- Do not be tempted, under any circumstances, to take an unlicensed minicab. All minicabs must be pre-booked. Only licensed taxis can pull up at the kerb – any minicabs that do this are acting illegally
- Make sure your phone is charged before you go out
- Keep some money separate to your purse or wallet – in your coat or pocket
- Stick with your people you know. Don’t wander off on your own at the end of the night, and wherever possible, go home together
Using public transport
If you’re travelling home by public transport, find out the times of the buses/trains so you’re not waiting about too long at the station/bus stop or miss the last one altogether Stay alert and don’t fall asleep – this will be easier if you’re not drunk Plan your journey https://www.tfgm.com/
Walk away from trouble
Don’t be drawn into problems or arguments; all it will do is ruin your fun. The smart thing to do is just walk away and continue with your great night out. If you feel like you’re being drawn into a difficult situation walk away and speak to the staff or doormen.
If you feel like you are in danger, go somewhere you feel safe, where there are lots of people around. If you still don’t feel safe or you run into trouble, call the police.
Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances (formerly Legal Highs)
At this time of year, many people will be celebrating Christmas and some may be more likely to take drugs or New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) putting their lives at risk.
The law regarding NPSs has changed and it is now an offence to sell or give NPS to someone (even for free)
Don’t feel under pressure from friends to take drugs, you can never be sure what is in them or what effect it might have on you or your friends.
If you are concerned about your drinking or drug taking or that of someone else, Turning Point can help:
Phone: 0300 555 0234
5 Greaves Street
This party season, don’t find yourself having to deal with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or an unplanned pregnancy.
Help is at hand at our walk-in clinics, book an appointment online 24/7 or speak to us on 0300 303 8565. Our phone line is open 24 hours a day Monday to Friday.
Make sure you’re prepared – have enough of your contraception method to last the festive period. Your local sexual health hub is there if you need it, Sexual Health Hub website and if you need support when this is closed visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/ which also has tips for a safer party season.
Stay well this winter
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease.
Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.
But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.
Our Accident and Emergency (A&E) department can get very busy at times and you may wait longer than normal to be seen, for example in winter and over bank holidays.
999 and A&E services are for people with serious injuries, illnesses and emergencies.
There are a number of other healthcare services that people can use for minor ailments and injuries, such as walk-in centres, urgent care centres and minor injuries units. And pharmacists can give advice and over-the-counter treatments for coughs, colds and stomach upsets such as sickness and diarrhoea.
Local pharmacies offer fully trained health professionals who can provide quality healthcare advice instantly. To find your nearest pharmacy, text ‘pharmacy’ to 64746.
- Self-care – for treatment of minor winter illnesses, by combining a well stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest.
- NHS 111 (dial 111 from your phone)/or visit the 111 website – for absolutely any health questions, around the clock, and to find local services.
- Pharmacist – for advice on common illnesses (inc winter colds), and the best medicines to treat them.
- GP – for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions for illnesses you just can’t shake off.
- NHS Walk-in Centre – for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, without an appointment.
- A&E or 999 – for critical or life-threatening situations.
For health advice and reassurance 24/7 contact NHS 111 on (dial 111 from your phone)/ or visit the 111 website
Keep your house warm
Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well at home:
- If you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C (65F)
- Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed
- During the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer than 18C
- To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C
- If you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, if you’re comfortable
- Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
- Get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional Warm Homes Oldham
The Warm Homes Oldham scheme is an award winning free service for Oldham residents, providing advice, support and energy saving measures to residents that are struggling to pay their energy bills and to heat their homes.
You can arrange a free home visit with our team who will assess your situation and see if you can be offered any of the following:
- Insulation and heating measures (subject to eligibility and survey)
- Small energy saving measures (like draught proofing and radiator foils)
- Advice on how to reduce energy use around the home and use heating controls effectively
- Support with switching energy tariffs, maximising income, claiming benefit entitlements and getting out of fuel debt
To find out more, arrange a survey or make a referral please contact Warm Homes Oldham on:
- 0800 019 1084