Be Prepared, Take Care and Stay Safe this Christmas

Public Health and NHS




Suffolk Public Health
and NHS tells us that last year winter was difficult for the health system across England, and Suffolk was no exception. For years health systems have seen increasing numbers of people who are living better for longer. This also means there are more people with several long term conditions.

There are a number of things you can do, or help someone you care for to do, to ensure that you don’t get caught out this winter:

  • Be prepared – stock up with cold remedies, pain killers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, stave off upset stomachs with anti-diarrhoea and rehydration mixtures, and keep plasters and bandages on hand for any cuts or scrapes.
  • Check your smoke alarms – with the Christmas preparations in full swing, don’t forget to ensure that your smoke alarms are in working order.
  • Get a flu vaccination – it will keep you from having a long recovery from this nasty illness, so book an appointment to get one if you haven’t already. People aged 65 or over, or have a long-term health condition or are pregnant are entitled to a free jab.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly – for the time it takes you to sing happy birthday through twice, use hot water and soap to wash away all kinds of viruses from colds and diarrhoea to so much more.
  • Seek help from your pharmacist – they are qualified health professionals who can advise on everything from a cold to long-term conditions.  This is often the best and quickest way to get well. Your pharmacist will let you know if a GP appointment is required. Pharmacies are one of the most accessible sources of advice, with many open long hours incl. evenings and weekends. Here are the Norfolk and Suffolk christmas-and-new-year-pharmacy-opening-times
  • Eat well and drink at least eight cups of fluids a day – it keeps your brain and body working well.
  • Keep your home warm – By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18° – 21°C or 64°- 70°F) you can keep you well, especially avoiding chest infections. If you have a disability, are over 65 or live with children aged under 5 ring this local rate number for free advice on heating your home. 03456 037 686
  • Not feeling well – If you are unsure if you need urgent or emergency care, please call NHS 111 – trained professionals are on hand to guide you.
  • Beat the winter blues – talk to someone. Talk about your anxieties with someone else, a friend, relative or a group such as the Samaritans. Talking about the things that are worrying you can make a big difference. It is easy to get help from the Suffolk Wellbeing Service too. This is a free NHS service, suitable for people aged 16 + living in Suffolk. You can phone them on 0300 123 1781 or refer yourself via their website.

Do you have any Elderly and Vulnerable Neighbours?

Are you able to spend a few minutes to ensure that: On their own

  • they are not alone all the time
  • their paths are clear of snow and ice
  • they have plenty of food in
  • they are warm enough
  • they have sufficient medication to get through the holiday period
  • if they can use the internet, that they know where to look for information and support

Further information and support over the Christmas and New Year Period

Visiting friends and family this Christmas, or just venturing out, keep up to date with the latest road, rail and weather news.



THINK AGAIN before you drink another drop!

We would encourage everyone to consider the consequences of drinking too much alcohol when out during the evening, over the weekend and in particular over Bank Holidays. We want everyone to have a good time while staying safe, but believe in a sensible approach to drinking and want people to respect themselves by being responsible. Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation.

Enjoy your night out but look after yourself and your friends – ensure that you and your friends look out for one another and you all get home safely. Pre book safe transport home and don’t accept lifts from strangers.

Responsible Drinking
Alcohol Units

• Think again before you drink another drop – alcohol affects everyone in very different ways.
• Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation.
• Being arrested could result in a criminal record or worst still you could be injured.
• Remember that alcohol can make people more aggressive.
• Drink too much and you are likely to feel disorientated.
• Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation.
• Recognise when you are drinking too quickly, sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than wanting an alcoholic drink.
You know your limit – stick to it!
• Never leave your drinks unattended; even soft drinks can be spiked.
• Don’t ruin the weekend by overdoing it on Friday or Saturday nights.

These messages also appear on the Think Again webpage. Additional advice is also available from Suffolk Police, NHS and

Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Know your limits

Regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits risks damaging your health. Do you know your daily limit? Would you like to find out? The NHS provides a useful alcohol unit calculator.
Alcohol Units

Creating Safer Town Centres in partnership with….

Town Pastors

Town Pastors is a voluntary, independent, inter-denominational church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. They started in Ipswich in 2006, and now operate in 9 Suffolk towns: Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lowestoft, Newmarket, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Woodbridge.

Town Pastors enjoy a good relationship with the public on the streets at night and works with partners such as Police, local District and Borough Councils, the County Council, Paramedics and Door staff, to keep people safe.
Town Pastors

Town Pastors are Christians, drawn from a variety of local churches and denominations. They go out in pairs, normally six people at a time, and operate every Friday and Saturday night throughout the year, from 10pm to 4am. On average, each Town Pastor is expected to be out one night a month. They wear a uniform of sweatshirt, yellow jacket and baseball cap and, for reasons of personal safety, are monitored by CCTV in the town centre area and linked in to the Townlink radio system.

All Town Pastors undergo a full training programme before becoming part of the team, covering such issues as core values; roles and responsibilities; the power of prayer; personal safety and conflict management; and drug and alcohol awareness.

The work of Town Pastors across Suffolk was recognised in October 2012 with an award of ‘Suffolk Charity of the Year’ by Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations (SAVO). SAVO represents voluntary organisations across Suffolk.

More information available on how the projects works in Bury St Edmunds.