ALMOST 5,000 vulnerable households across St Helens received ‘Winter Well’ packs last week, which will help to provide additional information and support to protect against Covid-19, flu and other seasonal illnesses.

The packs – which have been put together by the council alongside partners including local pharmacies and the Halton and Knowsley Local Pharmaceutical Committee – are packed full of useful items including vouchers to receive free Vitamin D supplements from some local pharmacies, face masks, room thermometers, Z cards containing general information about how and when to seek help in the NHS and 2022 calendars.

They also contain lots of useful information and advice on how to keep homes warmer, cheaper to heat and other guidance on how to stay well during the coldest winter months.

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Furthermore, they feature contact details for grants and other support which may be available to residents who may be struggling to keep their homes warm this winter, as well as mental health support.

The packs were posted directly to 4,900 homes in the borough last week, all of whom have been identified as clinically vulnerable, living alone and in need of extra support.

Cllr Jeanie Bell, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “Even though we are sadly not able to run an actual Winter Well event at the Town Hall this year, we are still determined to make sure that vulnerable households get the support they need at this time of year, particularly with the additional challenges now presented by coronavirus.

“We are delighted that we will be able to provide free Vitamin D vouchers in this year’s packs as this will be an important asset in helping residents to stay healthy.

“The calendars are also an important asset which in addition to featuring some fantastic photography of local landmarks will also contain important information and signposts for support which residents can use to stay safe, warm and well this winter.”

Ruth du Plessis, director of public health at St Helens Council, added: “The threats to people’s health posed by Covid-19, flu and other winter viruses are particularly strong this year so we are delighted that we have been able to produce these packs and give clinically vulnerable households in the borough that vital extra support.

“We are particularly pleased to be able to provide free Vitamin D vouchers to residents this year as this can be very useful in helping to keep you healthy when the colder weather makes it difficult for you to maintain your natural vitamin levels from the sun.

“To ensure residents are taking safe amounts of the supplement, we are working with a number of local pharmacies who will provide expert guidance and support to any resident looking to boost their Vitamin D intake.”